In a momentary lapse of your usual good sense, you naïvely provided nude selfies to someone on a dating app, and now they’re trying to extort a ransom from you. If you don’t pay up, they’ve threatened to share said nude selfies with your family, friends, and employer. Now what can you do? We examine your solution for this quandary 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- A sextortionist is threatening to send your nude selfies to family, friends, and employer if you don’t pay up! Now what?
- You’ve always found it easier to make friends with women, but you’re married and it seems inappropriate. What can you do to better relate to other men and strike up friendships with them when it always seems like an awkward, fruitless effort?
- You’re proud to work for a company that rallies around racial equity, LGBTQ+, and mental health awareness. But you feel pressured to add hashtags and pronouns to your email closing in order to signal support, which just feels performative and icky — because you believe action should precede speech. Are you being unreasonable?
- Even though you landed your dream job in February, the drudgery of working from home every day since the pandemic started has worn down whatever motivation you once had to stay in physical and mental shape. How can you climb out of the funk of feeling bad about your situation and not wanting to do anything about it?
- You’ve been getting Spanish lessons through Fiverr, and you’re at the awkward stage between being able to hold a fluid conversation and knowing most of the stuff covered in basic lessons. What can you do to make further progress on your language learning from here?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Resources from This Episode:
- David Michaels | Dark Money and the Science of Deception | TJHS 440
- Russell Brand | Finding Freedom from Our Addictions | TJHS 441
- Inside Edition
- Stop Sextortion | FBI
- Jeff Bezos Aside, Sextortion Is Way Underreported | Wired
- How to Deal with Blackmail (with Pictures) | wikiHow
- 50 State Project | Without My Consent
- Report Fraud | FTC
- Better Help
- Joe Navarro | How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People | TJHS 135
- Lisa Wade | Twitter
- American Men’s Hidden Crisis: They Need More Friends! | Salon
- A Different Voice on Different Cultures: Illusion and Reality in the Study of Sex Differences in Personal Relationships | Personal Relationships
- People in Rich Countries Are Dying of Loneliness | Quartz
- Britain Now Has a Minister for Loneliness | Quartz
- UCLA Study on Friendship Among Women | Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
- Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships by Geoffrey Greif
- Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship by Robert Garfield
- How Men Became “Emotional Gold Diggers” — Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden | Harper’s Bazaar
- Thoughts on Emotional Gold Diggers Article in Harper’s Bazaar | Jarrett Drake, Twitter
- Niobe Way: Why “Boys Will Be Boys” Is a Myth — and a Harmful One at That | TEDMed
- Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection by Niobe Way
- The Men Who Have Mostly Platonic Friendships with Women | GQ
- Virtue Signalling: The Culture War Phrase Now in BBC Guidelines | The Guardian
- Don’t Be Afraid to Virtue Signal | Time
- Matthew Walker | Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams | TJHS 126
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results | TJHS 108
- Jocko Willink | Why Discipline Beats Motivation Every Time | TJHS 15
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Fiverr (Use Code JORDAN at Checkout to Get 10% Off!)
- Spaced Repetition: Never Forget Vocabulary Ever Again | Fluent in 3 Months
- Powerful, Intelligent Flashcards | Anki
Transcript for Sextortion Scam Security for Naïve Nudes | Feedback Friday (Episode 442)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my accessory and advisory, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. I 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 a sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind. If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers, and performers. And for a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com and we'll hook you up.
[00:00:58] This week, we had Dr. David Michaels, former head of OSHA under Obama. Actually, he was just tapped for the COVID-19 response team by Joe Biden. Anyway, this episode has nothing to do with that. It's all about fake science. You know, big tobacco sponsored studies that showed that smoking was somehow good for you. It turns out that happens with a lot of items that we use every day. Companies just do makeup studies and commission studies, so that we think certain products are safe when they're actually very hazardous for us. We also had an interview with the one and only Russell Brand. That's right, Russell Brand. This is one from the vault. And it was quite enjoyable. I think you'll dig it as well. So make sure you've had a listen to everything we created for you this week.
[00:01:35] You can reach us on these Friday shows, these advice shows firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise. It does help us out. If you can include a descriptive subject line that makes our job a whole lot easier as well. If there's something you're going through, if there's a big deal decision you're wrestling with, or you just want a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work, how to manage your bipolar mother. Whatever's got you staying up at night daily, hit us up at email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:02:06] I saw something funny on Reddit, Gabriel. As you know, that's the insomniac's dream come true. I'm not an insomniac, but I would be if I let Reddit keep controlling my life. I found it really cool, this is not a life hack, but it's a really cool idea. There's a doctor who, as a unique gift for each of his employees every Christmas, they each get to fire one patient, no questions asked. And if a patient gets fired or essentially like the client of the business gets fired, they get a polite letter informing them that the practice could no longer meet their needs. And an offer to transfer medical records to the new provider that they choose. And I think this is brilliant for any business, especially lawyers, doctors, anybody who has client care. Because, Gabe, we all know that your staff at any company is dealing with one a-hole. That's just every time that email shows up or that phone rings or that person comes in, they're just like, "Ugh."
[00:03:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:03:01] Jordan Harbinger: And I think with doctors, they're looking at that reception list of like patients, they're going to see that day and they're like, "Oh God, we have Mrs. Gray at 1:00 p.m."
[00:03:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:03:09] Jordan Harbinger: "She's going to come in here and make everyone's life miserable for a week after with phone calls and emails." So let everybody fire one person. If you have a small staff, right? And they don't have to fire anyone, I guess, most of the time because I asked about how this works in practice. I guess most of the time people don't even care to do it, but one or two people in the whole organization have one person that they are just like, "I never want to see them again." And it's usually some cantankerous a-hole. And that's great.
[00:03:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's actually great because it probably saves costs in the long run. And then it also helps retain people who are going to quit if they have to keep dealing with Mrs. Gray's phantom pain and yelling at everybody because they didn't fill her prescription at Walgreens the right way or whatever.
[00:03:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. A hundred percent, a hundred percent. Every business — and I've said this before when I talked to young entrepreneurs — this isn't something I've made up by the way. I'd probably grab this from a bajillion business books, but every business many times — in fact, a lot of startups do this every year. They say fire the lowest 10 percent or even more of your client base. And that doesn't mean to call it the lowest 10 percent of your patients and say, "You can't be a patient at this doctor's office." But it does mean essentially always be looking for people that you can trim or not even people. Just anything you're doing in your business. Look for that bottom 10 percent that you can trim. I think about this and I go, "Okay, what's the lowest ROI activity for me. That I just cannot outsource effectively."
[00:04:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:04:33] Jordan Harbinger: And that was social media this year because I was like, it's got to be a thing. So I still answer all my DMs on every platform, but I don't bother posting to Instagram. I don't bother creating content for these different platforms because it's just low ROI. And whenever you try and outsource it, you just get a craptacular result. And I was like better just to not do it.
[00:04:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Smart makes total sense. Yeah, I like it.
[00:04:55] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe. Over the summer, I met somebody online after not having any real social interaction with friends or my community for a while, I fell for a pic-to-pic scam for nudes. You can guess what happened next. I was extorted for money. The scammer got my mom's email and threatened to leak the pictures to my work. I panicked and I paid for them. Worse the day after they sent me a Google voice password reset to be sent to them. I did this and then finally blocked their number. I've alerted the police, the FBI, the dating website, and the payment website that was used to extort me, but nobody could really help. The DA will not prosecute for a small amount of money. The companies won't share user data with the police, and there are no real leads for the police to follow. What do I do now? I'm afraid these pictures will come back to bite me at a later time. I know there are companies that specialize in this, but I'm too embarrassed to ask. And even more than that, I don't know if there are any good. Also, I'm not sure what they would do since the extortion already ended. I haven't talked about this to anybody. It's painful for me to even write this. What would you do? Signed, Shamed and Confused.
[00:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: All right. So a pic-for-pic scam is what somebody says, "Hey, send me nudes." And you say, "No." And they're like, "Here's one of me." And you're like, "Fine. Here's one of me." And they're like, "Psyche, I got that from the Internet." Is that how that works?
[00:06:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm guessing that's exactly how it went down.
[00:06:11] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. And then like, "Send me a Bitcoin or I'm leaking—"
[00:06:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally, yup.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So the other thing is the Google voice password reset. That's a little sketchy. And I want to talk about that in a bit because that sounds like maybe there's more going on here. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
[00:06:27] Anyway, first of all, I'm so sorry that you found yourself in this situation. I can only imagine how invasive and terrifying it must be to have somebody target you in this way. And I know it was difficult for you to write in about this, but I'm really glad that you did. Because what you're going through is something that tens of thousands of people are going through every single day. There is a massive cottage industry of this. And for anyone else, listening, who has shared nudes or might consider sharing them, let this be a cautionary tale. I hope we're about to save you a lot of grief. So this crime that you're a victim of, they cleverly call it sextortion. I'm sure that a producer at Inside Edition thought of that one. Basically, the threat to expose someone's sexual images in order to make them do something usually hand over cash. According to the latest data, sextortion is on the rise in a major way — and I can't believe I just said that. It feels like I'm like Geraldo Rivera.
[00:07:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: You sound like you're on Inside Edition.
[00:07:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exactly. I was like, maybe I'm the producer who came up with that. And it's become a pretty lucrative scam. Right?
[00:07:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:07:30] Jordan Harbinger: This is an epidemic of sorts. I've heard about this a lot, even freaking Jeff Bezos. It has become a victim of it. Didn't somebody get like an underwear pic of that guy? So you're not alone here.
[00:07:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: He called it like below-the-belt selfies or something. It just feels a little awkward.
[00:07:44] Jordan Harbinger: I prefer the term below the beltsies, but you know.
[00:07:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Now you really sound like an inside—
[00:07:50] —Inside Edition producer.
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: That's one of the — like below the beltsies.
[00:07:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Beltsies, yeah.
[00:07:55] Jordan Harbinger: It's pretty crazy to think the guy who owns the Washington Post and delivers firesticks to our door got blackmailed from what he called below-the-belt selfies.
[00:08:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's very true. It's highs and lows for those guys — highs and lows.
[00:08:05] Jordan Harbinger: Richest man in the world — are those Jockey? Really?
[00:08:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:08:08] Jordan Harbinger: That's what billionaires are wearing down there. Anyway, just goes to show that anyone can find themselves in this situation. Because he's not exactly a guy where you go, "Oh, he didn't understand the technology." Right?
[00:08:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, he got it.
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: He freaking invented Amazon. He knew—
[00:08:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: He knows what's happening.
[00:08:19] Jordan Harbinger: He knew the risk.
[00:08:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. He's sending people to Mars or some sh*t.
[00:08:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He's—
[00:08:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: He understands what happens to your penis when it's in a photo.
[00:08:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And look, the way you handle it, that's how most people respond to getting blackmailed. Of course, they pay right. A victim could flip the script and say, "No, I'm calling the police." But in that moment, you feel compromised. You feel ashamed. It's extremely hard to stand up for yourself. So even though you probably wish you'd gone a different way. I completely understand why you played along. And that's what these blackmailers are counting on. If this wasn't everyone's reaction, people wouldn't be blackmailing anymore because it wouldn't be as lucrative as other things.
[00:08:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:08:56] Jordan Harbinger: So first things first, will these photos come back to haunt you? Honestly, it's hard to say it's possible that it's all over and the scammers have moved on. I hope that's the case. But we'd have to know more about who blackmailed you among other things to really know for sure. And I know that's part of what's so stressful about this. You don't have any information you're not in control. It's really tough. Honestly, the best thing you can do right now is to hire a lawyer who specializes in sextortion cases. And yes, those exist because there's a whole genre of revenge porn that have laws and legislation about them for ex's and broken relationships and things like that. So Google victim rights attorney, blackmail attorney, or even sextortion attorney in your state. See what comes up. Even one phone call could be a huge help to judge whether these attorneys are worth a damn check out their ranking on websites like avvo.com, A-V-V-O.com or Martindale Hubbard. We'll link to that in the show notes. A lawyer might be able to get the ball rolling with local law enforcement and advise you on what to do next.
[00:09:55] And candidly, they're going to be able to tell you, "Hey look, whenever they go away and you've paid, they usually just move on if they can't reach you," or they'll be able to say, "You know, this is just the beginning. They try to steal your identity with these Google voice password resets," which actually that's the thing that has me worried. Why would they want you to reset a password on something, a phone number especially? It sounds like this is an identity theft thing, rather than just a blackmail thing.
[00:10:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm guessing that that might've had something to do with how they got her contacts. Possibly, if there was a password reset that gave them access to some service that had all of her friends' and colleagues' email addresses, and possibly phone numbers. That might've been how they got a little extra leverage. I'm just guessing.
[00:10:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's possible. So you don't want to give these people any more information as well. There are also companies that specialize in protecting people after a scam like this. At a minimum, they should offer some kind of electronic monitoring to ensure the photos are not posted online and they should also be dedicated to forcing any platform hosting them to take it down. Some companies say they can follow digital footprints to track down the blackmailer's IP address, ISP, location. They can even reach out to local law enforcement with documentation of the crime. So their services are how much they charge and whether other people have actually been helped by them. Check out their ratings, just like you would on any other business. And if you hire an attorney, they can also advise you on whether to hire one of these companies and if so, which one to use. So we're going to include some resources in the show notes for that as well.
[00:11:23] Look, as far as law enforcement goes, sadly, it is very common for law enforcement not to do anything in cases like this, partly because there's no single federal law that governs sextortion. And partly because this crime is very underreported for obvious reasons. Also, if the blackmailer is foreign, law enforcement is going to have a hard time getting jurisdiction. So, unfortunately, you just might not get that much traction with law enforcement. However, the federal trade commission, they seem to be more on top of this than the FBI. I would go to ftc.gov/complaint. We'll link to that in the show notes as well. Report what happened there, that might not go anywhere, but the FTC seems to be leading the charge against online romance scams. And filing a complaint will at least put the information into the right hands. If this blackmailer ever does get busted, then law enforcement might be able to identify you as a victim and pass along the news to you that they're no longer a threat that could give you some peace of mind at least even if it takes, you know, two years or something like that. So look, now that you've paid this scammer the window for flipping the script on them is unfortunately closed. There's not much you can do except find an attorney and try to get law enforcement to look into this.
[00:12:32] But for anyone else, listening here are some best practices if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. First off, don't pay the scammers as soon as you do that, the blackmailer has one. Instead, immediately contact law enforcement and the website where you met this person. Also, I'm wondering how you paid them because yes, if it's Bitcoin it's gone. But if you paid them via PayPal and stuff like that, I mean, this person then has a bank account that they've got to withdraw the funds to. They've probably done this before and they know how to get paid anonymously, but sometimes these guys are idiots and they make mistakes like that. So definitely let them know where you met them and that you paid. This is the consensus advice from every source we've read. And it's what law enforcement recommends.
[00:13:15] It takes real guts to stand up to that sort of pressure. But the truth is a blackmailer starts out a demand, holding all the leverage. And they end the demand holding all the leverage. Money changing hands doesn't change that reality, right? There's no balance of power shift just because you paid. If you contact law enforcement, you might give the right people an opportunity to tease more information out of the blackmailer and take the leverage out of their hands forever. To help them do that, take screenshots of everything for evidence, and hold onto it. Like I say, all the time on Feedback Friday — document, document, document.
[00:13:49] The next thing you should do is cut off the blackmailer's access to information about your contacts. The person who wrote in, they're worried the blackmailers are going to leak these photos to their mom, to their job. But let's think about that for a minute. Most companies don't even list everyone's emails on their website. They usually have a contact us button somewhere and maybe the addresses for a few key people. So the blackmailers would probably only be able to send the photos to a few people at best. But either way, this could all potentially be solved by going to HR and explaining the problems so that HR can discreetly alert people in the company to be on the lookout for emails, offering nudes, or something like that. I know that's a horrible conversation to have, but it significantly reduces the leverage. A blackmailer has over you.
[00:14:33] Another way a scammer can get a hold of your contacts is through social media. Anyone being targeted like this should seriously consider deleting their social media or turning the privacy settings up to 11. Hopefully, that'll make it too difficult for the blackmailers to follow through on their threats. And they'll just give up because it's more lucrative for them to just find out new victims than it is to continue to harass old victims. Especially if this is a purely financial play, they're not necessarily going to waste time, just harassing you, but they may try to get more money out of you.
[00:15:02] At the end of the day, though, nothing changes the fact that a bad person is in possession of a compromising photograph. Victims of this crime, they have to live with this hanging over their head and they often live in dread of another attack. And that's what the blackmailer wants. That's how the blackmailer derives his power. And yes, statistically, it's virtually always a he. So if it's a power play, there could be more going on here. But honestly, the best thing you can do is detach. When I talked to Joe Navarro on this show, former FBI with predators, your best thing to do is just completely detach from this person. Don't answer their email. Don't answer any phone, don't answer any texts. And the best course of action, as difficult as it is to hear this — the best course of action is to get way out in front of this. Let family and friends know that these photos are out there and that they might be made public one day, make it clear to these people that they do not have your consent to view these photos, and be clear with them that this has caused you a great deal of anguish. And that any decision on their part to view the photos would only contribute to that pain. True friends and loved ones, they're going to empathize with your situation and they're going to respect your privacy again. This is one of the few ways to short circuit a blackmailer's leverage.
[00:16:11] I would have trouble doing that though, Gabe. I don't think I could go to my mom and like people in my office and go, "So someone's got nudes of me." Because it just creates so many questions. Right?
[00:16:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, it's horrifying to think about, but if your goal is to not play along and to try to take back some of the leverage, it is one of the most effective ways based on everybody we've talked to and all the sources that we read. That said for most people, the emotional impact of something like this is usually the hardest part. You know, many victims, they view themselves as targets of blackmail as targets of a straightforward financial crime. But it's really a lot more than that as you can tell from the story, right? Sextortionist if we can call them that. They turned this consensual intimate moment into an act of exploitation and that can have profound effects on your mental health, on your feelings about yourself, about the world, your ability to perform to function.
[00:17:02] Shame is a very complicated emotion. It can derail your dreams. It can compromise your sanity. It can make you feel like you have little worth or no worth. So. If you find that you're wrestling with any of that, after going through something like this, I think one of the best things you could do is probably talk to a therapist. I mean, you're the victim of a crime that takes a very real mental toll, a very real emotional toll. And there is zero-shame in needing some help to work through that. Everybody responds differently to events like this, but for most people processing that trauma — and it is a form of trauma — That's a crucial part of healing — you know, forgiving yourself and moving on.
[00:17:35] One last thing here, I think this is implied in everything that we've been talking about, but it is worth calling out. The best way to protect yourself from a scam like this is just to not share explicit photos in the first place, especially with somebody you do not know well. And even with people you do know, well, it is always going to be a liability. I mean, even if the recipient doesn't do anything nefarious with them, what happens if somebody, I don't know, hacks into their computer or steals their phone or accesses the account that those photos are saved in. There are just too many ways that a photo can be compromised. And the person who wrote in, they didn't hurt anybody, they didn't do anything wrong. They just trusted the wrong person and made a decision that in retrospect wasn't wise. But knowing that something like that could happen, the best policy is really not to share those images at all.
[00:18:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's tough to hear this because I totally get it. I'm not much of a take nude selfies kind of guy, but you know, I can appreciate what it would be like if somebody were watching me shower on a freaking webcam that they installed. And it's kind of the same thing, isn't it? I mean, I feel like it kind of is. Gabe, how's my comparison game here?
[00:18:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I'm sure it feels very exposing to go through something like that. No matter what the circumstances are. It's violating, straight-up violating and it's embarrassing and it's complicated and yeah, a lot of feelings go with it. I do not have to be anybody in that situation.
[00:18:52] Jordan Harbinger: I hope this helps. And I hope it keeps other people out of a situation like this. And to the person that wrote in, I'm so sorry that it happened to you. And I promise that with time, the anguish you're feeling will fade away. You'll develop a new understanding of this chapter and that will hopefully allow you to make some sense of it and move on. You're going to be okay. Take care of yourself. Find the resources you need and thank you for sharing your story with us. It is really, really important. And I think this is a great warning for anybody who even is sending these to their significant other, like what happens when they lose their phone? They're in the cloud. Or you get a password-reset hack. Just think about that stuff before you send it. There are more secure ways to send nudes. That's a little outside the scope of this show, but there are more secure ways of doing that. All right.
[00:19:41] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:19:45] This episode is sponsored in part by b8ta. I always want to be remembered as the guy who gives great gifts. Part of doing that is finding a store with things I can't find anywhere else. A store like b8ta. There's one near my house. They've got a bunch of stores all over the US here. B8ta prides itself on finding new products and gadgets that you cannot find anywhere else, stuff you see in ads online a lot of the time. So like e-bikes, scooters, things that you normally can't try. Accessories that make your home office more fun. Kitchen gadgets. They have like a coffee alarm clock. Just fun stuff in this store. They've even got beauty and lifestyle lines. So you can shop for anyone. Now one thing that I found — well, Jen found, of course, that she loved is a pen where you can take notes on paper, like a notebook, and it will digitize all of the handwritten notes. So you can take notes by hand, but then you can also end up with a digital copy, which seems useful for a lot of these folks who email me and they're like, "I'm still analog." This sort of bridges that gap and solves that problem, which I think is super creative. They have a lot of gifts like that from gadgets to nutrition, Jen.
[00:20:47] Jen Harbinger: Just use the coupon code JORDAN in-store or online for $20 off just about anything. Find b8ta online at B-8-T-A.com. That's B-8-T-A.com or at one of their two dozen stores in cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. Use the code JORDAN in-store or online for $20 off. Just about anything.
[00:21:07] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. I am a huge, huge fan of therapy. I am an even bigger fan of therapy that doesn't require driving, parking, crazy amounts of scheduling. It's like therapy in the 21st century here with Better Help. They can handle pretty much any topic you throw at them, but you can do it all from your phone, video, or phone sessions. You can text or chat with your therapist if you want to. You get matched in under 48 hours, which is great. That means you can start pretty much right away. Obviously, everything is confidential. And if you don't click with your therapist, which — that's happened before with me and the therapist as well. I've done like one session. I'm like, "This guy has his head up his ass." You can switch with Better Help at no additional charge. And that's a bigger benefit than it might sound like on its face. So I highly encourage everybody who's dipping their toes or thinking of dipping their toes in the therapy waters to give Better Help a try.
[00:21:56] Jen Harbinger: Better Help is an affordable option and our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with a discount code JORDAN. Get started today at better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan. Talk to a therapist online and get help.
[00:22:07] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter. Working from home could transform the job market and create global competition for every role, which is kind of scary. That means if you're an employer you're competing with even more employers to find the best candidates for the job, that's even scarier somehow. How do you get your company and job to stand out? Start with ZipRecruiter by trying it for free at ziprecruiter.com/jordan. When you post a job, you can tag it with labels, like actively hiring or remote to attract the right talent. They use their matching technology to identify people with the skills and experience that match your jobs. You don't just get a bunch of yahoos in your inbox. And if you're really interested in a candidate and you want to snag them before they're contacted by other companies, you can invite them to apply for your job and with one click, ZipRecruiter sends them an email from you and you stand out from the competition. It's no wonder that four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. And I've heard from you that that's actually been true and your experience as well.
[00:23:05] Jen Harbinger: And right now, you can try ZipRecruiter for free at ziprecruiter.com/jordan. That's ziprecruiter.com/J-O-R-D-A-N. Get the edge on the competition. Go to ziprecruiter.com/jordan ZipRecruiter, the smartest way to hire.
[00:23:19] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show. Next up.
[00:23:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, for years, we've had a close group of male friends whom I've really valued recently, though. Most of these guys have relocated to the other side of the country or to another country for career reasons. I didn't realize how lonely I was until this past weekend when my wife was out of town, my wife and I have a close group of friends, but most of them are women. I could have called one of them to ask them to hang out, but that felt inappropriate, especially at short notice so I didn't. For some reason, I find it easier to make friends with women than with men, but I think it's important to have both men and women as friends. Usually when interacting with guys that discussion will be about things I have no interest in. Whereas women seem to talk about things that I find easier to talk about. I might've also forgotten how to make friends with men after all of these years. I've been trying the be-interesting-by-being-interested approach, but I'm starting to feel like the guy who can't do anything but ask questions and that's a little frustrating. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to connect with men to make friends specifically? Thanks for your great work. Signed, Butting Up Without Bugging Out.
[00:24:24] Jordan Harbinger: Well, thanks for writing it, man. I think a ton of guys feel this way, especially as they get older and especially right now during the quarantine. And it's interesting, more and more research is coming out about how important friendship is for men and how few of them are actually finding it. Lisa Wade, she's a sociologist. She pointed out that the friendships men have if they're with other men, provide less emotional support, and involve lower levels of self-disclosure and trust than other types of friendships. But the research also shows that men are just as likely as well and to say that they want emotional intimacy in their friendships. And when men don't get that intimacy that actually threatens their health. One study linked the loneliness epidemic with early deaths across wealthy nations, and another one showed that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of dying early, 50 percent. That is huge. While loneliness increased the risk of dying younger as severely as being obese. So I imagine that loneliness increases the risk of dying as severely as being overweight. In fact, to some experts, people with good friends have a 22 to 60 percent lower chance of dying over a 10-year period.
[00:25:37] Gabe, I wonder if that's any 10-year period. Like, are you just 60 percent less likely to die over that period for any reason at any age? That's wild.
[00:25:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: What 10 years did they measure that over? That's interesting. Are they older? Are they younger? Is the economy going up? Is it going down? I don't know.
[00:25:53] Jordan Harbinger: No, if you have good friends and they come over, you're more likely to die.
[00:25:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. It's like—
[00:25:59] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know, yeah, good old COVID. Anyway, all of that is just to say that these friendships you're looking for, they really do matter. And I totally understand why you're wanting that connection. So here are some thoughts on how to build those friendships. First, I would spend some time exploring why you struggle to connect with other guys. I know you said it's because they tend to talk about things you're not interested in, but I'm sure there's an emotional component to that as well. In general, and I'm oversimplifying here, but I think it's largely true in general. Men are conditioned to view intimacy and friendships, as unmasculine. I'm even cringing saying the word intimacy in male friendships, anyway. That should show you the cultural conditioning that we have around this. And we're also taught to suppress our feelings as we get older, starting at about age 15. And that's a cultural thing, at least in the west anyway, and it's something that dudes need to consciously work on if they're going to have meaningful connections with other people.
[00:26:51] Then there are your own relational patterns and life experiences, which are definitely playing a role here too. That would probably be a great thing to talk to a therapist about. I recommend betterhelp.com/jordan. They sponsor the show. You'll probably end up getting into some really meaningful stuff that would help you understand how you relate to other people. And spoiler alert, these things always go back to childhood. What isn't right? So, if you can begin to resolve some of that early stuff, you might find that you can work on whatever dynamics are being created between you and other guys. And hopefully, start to feel a little more secure, a little more comfortable in their presence.
[00:27:30] To get more tactical though, there are several things you could do to meet more male friends. You could join interest groups online around your career, your hobbies, your interests. You can reach out to other guys in those groups. That's normal because you have an excuse to do so. That's not just like, "I'm lonely," which sounds just — well, sounds like it sounds.
[00:27:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Might not go down well, yeah.
[00:27:48] Jordan Harbinger: Might not go down well.
[00:27:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: It might end up in a pic-to-pic scam actually
[00:27:51] Jordan Harbinger: That's right, it could be a pic-to-pic scam waiting to happen. These guys will probably be more receptive if you share something in common. Maybe getting to know them online first will make it a little easier than just approaching someone in real life and I'm chuckling to myself because I know how hard it is to approach people. I taught that for years and I know how hard that can be. I'm talking about Facebook groups, subreddits, Twitter threads, online forums, wherever people come together around the topic of an activity. You can also join a book club for men. These are popping up all over the place now, especially during COVID. They are awesome. I know tons of people in them. People meet on Zoom now. And then they're like, "We're all going to meet up for drinks and have a barbecue once this is over." So they're already sort of chomping at the bit to do that. These groups bring together a good mix of people as well because you don't really have to be that much like other folks to like the same books, but you have to have similar tastes in at least that. Right? So it's a great way to sort of break the mold. You can also start your own and ask every guy you invite to invite another good guy and just build it up slowly.
[00:28:50] Also finding a class for adults or an online course or an independent study, languages skills, hobbies, topics, certifications. These are all great ways to invest in yourself while also meeting other people who want to invest in themselves as well. And when COVID ends, maybe join a team sport if you're into that at all, like kickball, even kickball, where you just drink and play kickball, you know, or if you actually like sports, which you might not. You know, you could join one of those. There are groups where guys bond over just being other men who feel disconnected from each other, but I find some of those to be a little hippy-dippy. And some of them, they tread firmly into self-help cult territory. And so I generally only recommend them with that strong caveat attached. Anytime I've joined a group where it's like, "Our guys shared a lot of stuff." I'm like, "Okay, is it like a Bible thing or what?" And honestly, I'd rather it be something like that than like, "Oh, hey, we're going to do this weird thing that results in you buying more of our workshops and...You're in a weird cult. There's tons of that stuff.
[00:29:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: If anyone hands you a listening stick, just like — think twice about sticking around.
[00:29:58] Jordan Harbinger: Is that like a passing of an item so that you can talk and share?
[00:30:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. I just feel like — but they mean, well, right, because so many guys, including me at various points have felt like this. So I understand why there would be groups dedicated to it, but I know what you mean. They do get a little bit sketched sometimes.
[00:30:13] Jordan Harbinger: Some of them can get really sketchy because someone's trying to monetize it. Now that I think about it. It's funny. When I was in football camp in high school, every night during camp, we had to do this thing called pass the gavel and they had a gavel, a judge's gavel. And we would pass it and people would share stuff. And honestly, I never really understood it but in 20/20 hindsight, I think it was really important because there were so many people that would talk and share things and be like, "Football's all I have. My parents were getting divorced," and they'd be like crying. And I was like, "This is so weird." But now I'm like, oh my God, that was the only time in my youth that we ever did anything like that at football camp, it was so valuable.
[00:30:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: No. You're right. And I was being a little bit facetious, but—
[00:30:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, well of course, yeah.
[00:30:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: If more men did that, when they were younger, there wouldn't be guys like this writing in because we would be more okay with talking about stuff as it came up and not suppressing it or feeling like we could only talk to women about it.
[00:31:06] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, yeah.
[00:31:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I'm totally in support of the idea. I was just having a laugh, but yeah, I feel you.
[00:31:11] Jordan Harbinger: But it basically, most of the time, if you're not at football camp and somebody hands you a listening stick, or you're doing that, make sure that you are not about to buy into a self-help cult. You know, the vow 2.0 something over here. Gabe, I know you found some books related to this.
[00:31:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. One of them is called Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships. It's written by a therapist and a friendship expert. His name is Geoffrey Greif. And in this book, he talks about how men—
[00:31:33] Jordan Harbinger: is it Jeffrey or Geoffrey because that name is Geoffrey. That name has fallen out of favor.
[00:31:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Did I say, Geoffrey?
[00:31:39] Jordan Harbinger: It's got to be Jeffrey.
[00:31:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm a hundred percent sure. It's Geoffrey. I think I was either thinking about the restaurant and Malibu, or I was thinking about Game of Thrones.
[00:31:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Let's be real. The restaurant in Malibu. No, you're thinking about Game of Thrones. You were thinking about Game of Thrones. Come on, man.
[00:31:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know why I just called him Joffrey. That's hilarious. Jeffrey, I don't even know this guy, but I'm pretty sure his name is Jeffrey
[00:32:01] Jordan Harbinger: Poor, Jeffrey.
[00:32:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, anyway, he talks about how men generally rely on what he calls shoulder to shoulder friendships. That means doing things together while women tend to enjoy face-to-face friendships. That's when they just sit and honestly share thoughts, emotions kind of like football camp for Jordan, I guess.
[00:32:16] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:32:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know it's one of the best books from what I understand about how men relate to one another and how they connect through activities. Another book that's supposed to be great is called Breaking the Male Code. It's by Robert Garfield. And he's a psychotherapist. He talks about how our modern idea of masculinity leaves very little room for emotional intimacy. That's exactly what we were just talking about. I think this will be a really good read for you, even if it just makes you realize why you enjoy being friends with women more. We also found a bunch of other great articles and books that might be helpful for you to read. So we'll link to all of those. In the show notes.
[00:32:47] But look, you're absolutely right. That it is important to have both male and female friends in life. And I hope you find all of the relationships that you're looking for. But I'm actually not sure that having male friends is more important than having great friends, whatever their gender. So if you feel like there's something wrong with you, because you prefer hanging out with women, I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about that. Some men, they just feel more comfortable with women, especially guys who actually do have that capacity for real intimacy, which it sounds like you do and that is totally fine. It's great. You might actually have more fulfilling relationships with women than a lot of guys end up having with other guys. But really the best thing you can do, I think is continue to invest in yourself as a person, keeping open, keeping interested, keeping vulnerable with other people, because that's really the raw material of any good relationship, no matter whom it's with. So good luck, my man.
[00:33:34] Jordan Harbinger: All right, what's next?
[00:33:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I work for a large corporation in a leadership position. I'm proud that we're rallying around causes such as Black Lives Matter, racial equality, LGBTQ plus, and mental health awareness. Two out of those three apply directly to me. I'm now being invited to take pledges. I wonder if I should add hashtags and pronouns to my email closing to signal support. But it all feels so performative and frankly icky to me. I believe action should proceed speech. Words are cheap. It would destroy me to mutter empty promises. I'd rather quietly do what I can and then share what works like hiring a diverse candidate to take over my previous role, which I did because I felt she was the best person for the job. It's not about my hashtags or how many people I've helped unless they say it. But then I fear that I'll be perceived as a non-ally if I don't wave my pom-poms enough, I have things to share, but I hang back because I don't think this moment is about me and especially not my hashtags or my pronouns, but then the counterpoint says to do those performative displays in order to encourage other people. Am I wrong here? Signed, Seeking the Transformative Within the Performative.
[00:34:41] Jordan Harbinger: This is a great question. And it's one that tons of people are asking themselves right now, especially as these conversations are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our workplaces. And let me just say that as a straight white guy who works on his own business from home, in the kitchen, half the time, I'm probably the least qualified person to weigh in on how to handle social justice in a corporate setting but I'll share some thoughts here and do my best.
[00:35:05] First of all, you are a hundred percent correct that action should proceed speech. And the last thing you want to do as a leader is to make empty promises. I'm right there with you. I also find a lot of performative acts of social justice these days are just flawed. They're, honestly, pretty cringe. It's not that adding pronouns to your Twitter bio or putting hashtags in your signature line is inherently misguided. I know that people mean well when they do these things and there's obviously a reason that they exist. But if you do those things without actually behaving in a way that is consistent with those values, like championing somebody who deserves to be hired or standing up for somebody who's being discriminated against. Then what do these gestures even mean?
[00:35:45] Then they're just branding. They're just performative bullsh*t. And that's, what's so frustrating about where we are in this conversation right now, because if you do parrot the language and put a black square on your Instagram page, then you're generally perceived as an ally even if you're not actually doing much to make things better at all. But if you don't do these things, some people might perceive you as a non-ally, even if you're actually doing things to move the needle. It's like, if you don't broadcast how conscious you are, then you're not really conscious. I mean, I got a lot of grief during the last sort of round for only doing some of these performative things. And I was like, "Where were you when I went to a maximum-security prison to help prisoners learn how to get jobs after they get out of prison? Where were you? Oh, you were posting something cool on your LinkedIn, like GFO. Right?
[00:36:34] So you can list your pronouns and you can post those catchphrases all you want. But if you don't address your biases, if you don't work with your company to nurture different kinds of talent, if you don't show up for people who are different from you, all you're doing is waving a banner. And when those two things don't line up when the behavior and the messaging are different, then it's just the empty performative, ego-driven, bad woke virtue signaling that you see all over the Internet these days. I think that's what you're afraid of doing. And I really admire your humility and your self-awareness around all of this because you, you're actually invested in making a difference and you are making a difference.
[00:37:10] So my advice is to continue doing that and not worry as much about the messaging. Not because the messaging is wrong, but because it's secondary. And it's a distant second at that. Now, as you rise up in your company, maybe you'll find that you do want to signal your allyship a little bit more so that you can encourage the people around you. That's totally fair. And there are a lot of ways to do that. You can bring up systemic bias and conversations if that applies in your organization. You can work with your executives to find and develop diverse candidates. You can talk to your friends and colleagues, one-on-one about what they're facing, what changes they'd like to see. You can donate to causes. You can join protests. You can write articles and memos and letters to officials. The list goes on and on. There are so many ways to publicize what you believe is right without falling into the trap of virtue signaling. And that's really a matter of personal style. That's up to you, but if you're actually walking the walk, then you probably won't have as much conflict around talking the talk.
[00:38:10] I hope that helps. I know that this stuff can be pretty confusing and it seems like a minefield. And I just want to thank you for having the integrity and honestly, the courage to share this question with us. It's an important conversation to be having for me and Gabe too. And we're all trying to get it right. But if you focus on action, if you commit to putting your ideas into practice, then you really can't go wrong. The pledges and the signals, those have a role too, but that's mostly messaging. It's branding. It's the icing on the cake. The cake is what you do. And in the long run, that's what actually makes a difference, how you show up in the world every day. So keep doing that and I know you'll get it right. Good luck.
[00:38:49] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show. And this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
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[00:40:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Echelon. It's the holiday season and you know what that means fitness and I don't mean fitness and entire pizza into my gut. I'm talking about getting in shape, hitting your fitness goals, and feeling great about yourself and Echelon can help you get there. They've got world-class instructors. That'll motivate you with thousands of daily live and on-demand studios-level classes always available when you need them. Echelon offers the next generation of connected fitness, bikes, fitness mirrors, rowing machines, and they're all new echelons stride, smart treadmill. No matter what your favorite fitness activity, Echelon gives you a fun and challenging workout from the comfort of your own home. And unlike the competition, Echelon is affordable for everyone. And one membership lets up to five family members all work out at the same time. Right now, you can try any Echelon fitness equipment at home for 30 days.
[00:40:47] Jen Harbinger: Go to echelon fit.com/jordan. That's E-C-H-E-L-O-N-fit.com/jordan.
[00:40:54] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Luckbox magazine. These guys interviewed me. Some of you saw it on social media. This is essentially — the magazine itself is the control freak's new guide to life, money, and probability, which is something you don't see advertised every day. So it's for investors, traders, entrepreneurs, side hustlers, gamblers, and probability geeks, which I'm sure if that exists. I'm sure you're listening to this show because we're all weird geeks here. Side hustles, investment trends, whiskey, beer, gadgets, gaming, sports, cryptocurrency, odds, and probabilities, all that stuff is in here. There are more thoughtful articles than you'd get from a normal sort of fluff magazine. And like I said, they interviewed me. So obviously if the content is amazing,
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[00:41:56] Jordan Harbinger: Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going, who doesn't love some good products and/or services. You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:42:13] All right, what's next?
[00:42:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan, I graduated college back in December and began my dream job as a mechanical engineer at an aerospace defense contractor in February. Shortly thereafter, we were all sent home due to COVID and I have been working strictly from home ever since. This has quickly spiraled into an endless cycle of wake up, work, play PC games, then go to bed every single day. It's gotten very lonely. It's gotten very depressing. I've started gaining weight and I've lost motivation to get outside and even to work out. I care a little less about what I eat and drink every day. And I'm just sick of feeling like this. I don't have much to complain about it since I'm recently engaged and living with my wonderful fiancee and have a stable job. However, I can't seem to get out of this rut of feeling bad about my situation and not wanting to do anything about it. Do you have any advice or ideas to get out of where I and likely many other works from home people may be heading? Thank you. I love the show. Signed, From WFH to WTF.
[00:43:11] Jordan Harbinger: Well, let me start by saying that what you just described, feeling lost, feeling lonely, feeling depressed, and unmotivated in quarantine, you just described how so many people aren't feeling right now. And the thing is most people, they don't want to talk about it because it's embarrassing or because they assume no one else is going through it either. When in reality anxiety, depression, they're rampant, boozing, and drugging and numbing with games or TV that is off the charts right now. Ambition and optimism and hope for most people are in short supply. So I want you to know that, that alone and thank you for opening up about it.
[00:43:45] Look, one of the biggest things I've learned this year is how much I used to rely on the outside world to meet my needs, doing interviews in person, going to the gym, grabbing coffee with my wife, or even just with total strangers, catching a freaking movie. All of these things I did every day, gave my life order and moment — I didn't see movies every day. I know somebody is thinking that. It was like just going about my day, kept me ticking. It kept me anchored to broke things up a little bit. And then when things shut down, like most people, I suddenly found myself without any of those anchors. Every day was this wide-open ocean. If I wanted to keep going and stay sane, I'd have to double down on my own habits, my own anchors, because I couldn't rely on the world for that anymore. And at the same time being stuck inside for months at a time, it forces you to face all of this stuff you were avoiding when society — you know, actually existed. And that more than anything is why most of us are so miserable right now.
[00:44:38] Not just because we can't do what we used to do, but because we all — all we have to do right now is be with ourselves. So if you're going to break out of this rut, you're going to have to make a mental shift. You're going to have to decide consciously that you are going to take the reins back, that you're going to create those anchors. This will be a little hard at first, but it will get easier. And in a matter of a couple of weeks, it will actually feel easier than the cycle you're stuck in right now. It's like a flywheel. It has a ton of momentum, so you'll have to slow it down before you can get to revving in the other direction. But once you do, it's just as easy to be on top of your life as it is to fall off the horse.
[00:45:16] So I would focus on a few things to make that happen. None of these will be surprising, but that's kind of the point. It's the super basic stuff that actually works. First, make a commitment to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Easier said than done, but this is huge. There is a ton of research that shows how irregular sleep patterns really affect our mood and our relationship to the outside world. Try to go to bed early, like 10, and wake up early, like seven that's a ton of time. If you can't fall asleep, set your alarm for seven, be tired for a day or two. You'll start falling asleep at 10. No problem. That's when your body benefits the most from sleep, it'll also short circuit. A lot of the other habits like gaming late at night. That is contributing to loneliness and depression. And look, I'm not saying you're doing this, but if you're anything like me, if you game at night, then you want to snack. It's 10:30. So you're eating crap late, gaining weight, eating a bunch of crap, sleeping like crap. You know, that's a bad way to live your life.
[00:46:12] As for the gaming, set yourself some limits, nothing wrong with unwinding a bit. I love video games. I just got Call of Duty, Cold War. I love it. I know it's cliche. I don't care. I play them while I do show prep sometimes, but you have to put some boundaries around it. I probably shouldn't have admitted that, but there you have it. Carve out an hour after work, set your timer, stick to it. Once the hour's up, grab a book, go for a walk, make dinner, hang out with your fiancee. Turn off the freaking TV an hour before bedtime to prepare your body for sleep. That is also key if you need some sleep packs that's another thing, you know, blue blockers and all that.
[00:46:46] Next thing, start moving your body again. Start by going for a 10-minute walk tomorrow. That's it. Don't do more than that but don't do less. Put it on your calendar and just do it. The next day, go for 11 minutes the next day, 12 minutes. Then before you go to sleep, stretch for five minutes, the next night stretch for six minutes. The next night, seven minutes. You get the idea, the easier and smaller the goal, the better. Incremental progress, that's the name of the game. In a few weeks, you'll be working up to 30-minute workouts, and then before you know it, you're going to be back into the swing of things. Sometimes when we're in these ruts, we have to get our body to do the work before our mind will do it.
[00:47:22] After that, put it on your calendar. This is my workout time. Find a class, program, or — I can recommend some trainers online that you can sign up for. If you need that, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Two weeks of that, it'll be harder not to work out than to work out. Next, start changing your habits around what you eat and drink. I kind of touched on this before. Make a promise to yourself, not to soothe with food or numb with alcohol. Again, incremental progress is the key. Maybe you start by only drinking every other day if that's something you're doing a lot of now. The following week only drink on the weekend. From there, you decide how much you want to keep alcohol in your life. I essentially gave it up and I just don't miss it at all. If you'd noticed I'm not smashing a Claw. Not to say that I won't ever smash a Claw again. I had taken medication. I had to give it up. That's still happening, but I don't even think about it. And it's something I've never felt better for having consumed.
[00:48:14] I highly recommend creating some new rituals to replace these bad habits. For example, maybe you and your fiancee cook a meal together three times a week. That'll bring you together and help keep you away from the double stuffed Oreos at the same time, maybe instead of reaching for a Natty Light, you promise yourself you'll stretch for 10 minutes first, then you'll see if you still feel like it's stuff like that. The more you do productive things. The less time and desire you're going to have to do unproductive things. Gabe, what else can you do to take some concrete action here besides the self-care that I just outlined?
[00:48:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well. in addition to all that, I definitely think it's important to talk about how you're doing, how you're feeling, especially with your fiancee. Like, we said everybody is struggling right now even if they don't talk about it. The more that you suppress your feelings, the more that you numb them, the worst that they get. We know this, right? This is how it works so I highly recommend sharing that stuff with your fiancee, with your friends, colleagues, family members, whomever you feel close to about how you're doing. I know tons of people personally; I feel like I talked to three people this week about this who started going to therapy this year because they were having such a hard time in quarantine. And then once they got there, they realized that it was actually just bringing up a bunch of stuff that they had been putting off dealing with for years.
[00:49:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:49:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: So there is zero shame in this. It sounds like you have a good job. It probably offers mental health benefits. So look into taking advantage of them. And on a related note, I think anything to do right now in this period is to keep being proactive in your relationships. The pandemic took a lot of things away from us, but maybe the most damaging was our ties to other people. You know, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to be even more deliberate about staying close to people, meeting new ones. For me, that means booking calls, and FaceTimes with family, with friends, dropping lines to people on LinkedIn. Even being a little extra friendly to people when I'm running errands at Trader Joe's or whatever, I would make that a habit as well. Just put in 10 percent more effort in your relationships, just 10 percent. And let those conversations become one more anchor during your day.
[00:50:07] And by the way, these people you reach out to, I can promise you, they're probably feeling the same way that you are a lot of them. Talk to them about that. Ask them how they're doing. Make it a conversation about how quarantine is playing out for you guys. I can guarantee you that they'll be super grateful that you reached out and that'll make those relationships even stronger.
[00:50:23] Jordan Harbinger: So that's our advice, my man. If I had to sum it all up, it would be this, start showing up for yourself, be for yourself what the outside world used to be for you. That's hard to do sometimes, and it can feel overwhelming. And it can feel kind of unfair, but it is essential. And in a weird way, it's kind of the unexpected benefit of this shitty period because where we used to expect the world to cater to all of our needs, we now have to figure out ways of meeting those needs ourselves. In the long run, that's a huge advantage. Knowing how to be your own best friend, when everything around you is falling apart. And remember that as a person with a job and a fiancee and a roof over their head, you are in an incredibly fortunate position. One that not everyone has right now. So I would honor those gifts, show up for yourself in these small ways. And I know you'll turn the ship around in no time. Last, but not least.
[00:51:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan, you've mentioned doing frequent Chinese classes. What kind of things do you do and your sessions? Are you just practicing conversation or do you have more structured lessons? I've been getting some Spanish classes through Fiverr and I'm at the awkward stage between being able to hold a fluid conversation and knowing most of the stuff that you cover in basic lessons. What sort of things should I be asking for in these sessions to make the most of my time? Signed, You Demand-Darin
[00:51:39] Jordan Harbinger: All right. The problem with languages is there's always a ton of stuff for beginners, almost nothing for intermediate. And then advanced is basically just stuff that's for everybody that's written in that language. That's not super hard. You know, like advanced Chinese stuff is me reading Newsweek Chinese edition with my teachers. That's it. Or reading about holidays and stuff like that, or reading young adult novels, things like that that are not super complex. Beginner stuff, there's a bunch, but for years there's like nothing for people that know 2000, 3000 words. There's just nothing. You just have to struggle all the way up that hill. Lessons that are doing their job should start with small talk. And as you exhaust your conversation skills, then you can go on and read books, comics, young adult stuff. That's really, really easy, little kid books, even. And the reading gets harder and harder, but the conversation follows. You should be conversing as much as possible with your teacher and then you can do a reading later.
[00:52:36] Also I would have conversations and then fill in some English words if you don't know them in Spanish and your teachers should know that after you say a word in English, they tell you the word in Spanish. And that way you can forget the same word a hundred times, and they tell you 100 times, and eventually, you'll remember it. That's super helpful. I've had teachers that are like, "Only use words that you know," and then you just can't say anything. And I'm trying to look things up in the dictionary. It's just such a pain. A good teacher in my experience will correct you in real-time. And you should be able to have a conversation that's essentially in Spanish and English and they should be able to help you fill it out until it's completely in Spanish.
[00:53:14] Also have the teacher write down the words you ask about that are useful and then put them into your flashcard app. And that's what I recommend for the language learners as well. You need flashcards for sure. Apps are the best way to do it. Some people are like, 'Writing it down helps." Yes, it does. But it doesn't help as much as what's called spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is when you have a good flashcard app that uses SRS or Anki, A-N-K-I. What this does? And I think Anki is the name of the open-source app, one of them. You make these flashcards. If you get it wrong, it shows you that card more often. And if you get it right, it shows you less often until it's only showing you, you know, every six months or something like that. That will help you learn more words faster because you're drilling the ones you actually forgot. So that is extremely, extremely useful. SRS, spaced repetition or Anki, A-N-K-I. That's what you put in the flashcards, the words you don't know from each language session.
[00:54:08] And then study for like even 10 minutes, 15 minutes a day of a language. I do that for Chinese, maybe 10 plus minutes or so. And it's plenty of like thousands and thousands of characters. For Spanish, it'll be a lot easier. You're going to blow through it a lot faster than Mandarin. Flashcard vocabulary will also enhance conversation slowly over time because your vocabulary gets bigger and then you can ramp up the reading. So all of these things sort of hold on and support one another. Grab some books for kids, grab some books for learners. A lot of times these are cheap or even possibly free online, which is great. You can take photos of the pages and send them to the teacher over the Internet. I know it's against copyright law, but look, you know, that way you have the same book. She's reading what you're reading. That's the way to do it.
[00:54:51] You don't need a lot of tricks and tips with languages. You just need SRS flashcards. You need someone to talk to you that can correct you when you're wrong and you need something to read. That's it. That's how most people learn languages, except most people don't even have flashcards. Right? Most people learn to speak and most people learn to read at least in the West here. And that's how most people learn languages to native proficiency. So you don't need much more than that.
[00:55:17] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week, go back and check out the interviews we had with Dr. David Michaels about fake science and the one with Russell Brand. Those are both worth listening this week.
[00:55:27] If you want to know how I managed to find and book these great guests, it's always about the network and who we know. I'm teaching you how to network for free over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Don't do it later. Do it now. You got to dig the well before you get thirsty. These drills are designed to take just a few minutes per day. Ignore it at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff when I was a kid. You can find it all at jordanharbinger.com/course. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday episode going up on the YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also add me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:56:13] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My amazing team includes Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard. And of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember we rise by lifting others so share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with someone else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:56:54] We've got a preview trailer of our interview with angel investor, Jason Calacanis. If you're a founder or interested in business or ideas, you're going to want to hear this.
[00:57:04] Jason Calacanis: I built Weblogs Inc., and 18 months after we were growing it, we were at about 150K in total revenue and AOL came and offered us 30 million bucks for it. I was negative 10,000 in my bank account and I was walking my old dog, Toro — rest in peace — and smoking a cigar with my wife. And we were sitting there in Santa Monica. We had a $2,000 a month apartment and I said, "They've offered us $30 million. I can't keep up with our credit card bills. I'm going to take it." And she was like, "This is going to be crazy. We're going to have over $10 million in our bank account." I was like, "Yep." I sat there and I just had to have this like really long look like deep moment because I had a very complicated relationship with money and being poor because—
[00:57:49] Jordan Harbinger: You grew up wanting to be rich.
[00:57:51] Jason Calacanis: Exactly. And I want it to be powerful and rich when I was a kid and looking back on it, the reason I want it to be powerful and rich is because I was poor and I had no power. My wife remembers the story and I remember the story like it was yesterday. I was sitting there, refreshing my Bank of America account, the corporate account and nothing, nothing, nothing, and the boom, 27 million bucks and I started crying. My wife was like, "What are you crying to?" I spent the majority of my life broke. I don't have to worry about money ever again.
[00:58:19] Jordan Harbinger: Ever.
[00:58:21] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Jason Calacanis, including what venture capitalists are looking for in startup founders and how to make yourself more marketable, whether you're a founder or an angel investor yourself, check out episode 100 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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