You recently discovered that the person you’ve always thought was your uncle is actually your biological father, and suddenly it makes sense why you never really bonded with the man who raised you as his own. Now that he’s on his deathbed, is it worth clearing the air and telling him you know the truth? Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You just found out the man who abusively raised you isn’t your biological father — the person you’ve always thought was your uncle is. Now that he’s on his deathbed, should you tell him that you know the truth? [Thanks to licensed marriage and family therapist Nancy Yen for helping us with this one!]
- Circumstances have made it necessary for your mother to move in with you until she can get back on her feet after being laid off, but you’re in your 30s and it’s really cramping your ability to date. How can you find a balance that benefits you both?
- After hitting rock bottom, you’ve visualized various ways to harm yourself. And even though you’ve never acted on them, should you take these intrusive thoughts as some kind of warning sign of problems you’re not equipped to handle on your own? Or does everyone have these kinds of thoughts? [Thanks once again to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- How do you break the news to your old mentor that they’ve created a toxic work environment and earned a bad reputation for treating employees poorly when they try to leave?
- It turns out someone you’ve formed a serious relationship with once matched with your sister on a dating app, but they got into an argument before they could ever meet in person. Now she insists that you break up with him, and is making your life difficult for refusing. What’s the right move here?
- 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!
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This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- HVMN: Go to HVMN.me/jordan for 20% off Ketone-IQ
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Miss our interview with Find Your Why, Start with Why, and The Infinite Game author Simon Sinek? Catch up with episode 300: Simon Sinek | How to Play the Infinite Game here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Barbara F. Walter | How Civil Wars Start (And How to Stop Them) | Jordan Harbinger
- Reid Hoffman | Adaptability Is the New Stability | Jordan Harbinger
- Annette Bening | IMDb
- I Found Out That My Father Is Not My Biological Father. What Should I Do? | Quora
- Adult Survivors of Emotional Child Abuse | The Invisible Scar
- Nancy Yen | Website
- John Meets Chazz | Wedding Crashers
- Coming Out as Polyamorous to My Family | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Erin Margolis | Website
- Intrusive Thoughts: Why We Get Them and How to Stop Them | Healthline
- Do You Owe Your Friends Honesty? | Jordan Harbinger
720: Should You Confess You Know He’s Not Your Dad? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the "keep calm and carry on" sign getting us through this war zone of life advice, 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. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:38] Now, if you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice. 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 to authors, thinkers to performers. This week, we had Barbara F. Walter on how civil wars start. She starts off by studying other countries like Iraq, Ukraine, and then, of course, we pivot on over to the United States, kind of a terrifying, but very enlightening and interesting conversation. We also had Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn on career strategies that can help you succeed at any stage, whether you're just starting out or you're a career veteran. This one had a lot of practical advice that you just don't normally hear. Not just the usual career tips or networking tips in this one, but a lot of real-world stuff that you'll be able to put to good use from somebody who has seen the inside of a lot of companies that are all or many of which are successful.
[00:01:30] So make sure you've had a listen to everything that we created for you here this week. All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm 52 years old. And eight years ago, I found out that my dad, let's call him Frank, wasn't my biological father. This was a huge surprise, but it also explained a lot of things from my childhood. Why Frank didn't want custody of me when he and my mom got divorced? Why he was physically abusive at times? Why he withheld affection and affirmation? Why my younger sister received most of the love in the house? Why my mom hadn't talked to my grandma in over 10 years? Which I later found out was because my grandma thought I deserved to know my real father. I was always told that the reason Frank and I weren't close was because he was in Vietnam when I was born, but clearly there was more to the story. On top of all that, both of my parents were physically abusive, but it was a different time where this behavior was more accepted. So I don't consider myself an abused child. I know there are kids that have it far worse than I did, but there were happy times too. I have great memories of camping, hiking, and fishing with my family. I also remember making the dean's list in college and Frank telling me he was very proud of me. I was in shock, holding back tears with a huge lump in my throat because I had never heard those words from him before. Then, eight years ago, my cousin or the person I thought was my cousin told me that her dad, let's call him Pete, was also my biological father and was days away from dying. Pete and my mom were actually step-siblings and they had a one-time thing the night their parents got married. Afterward, she planned a visit to Frank while he was away at boot camp so that she could pass me off as his. In light of the news, I went from thinking I had a full sister to having eight half-siblings. We're now in the process of becoming familiar with one another again, but it's all really difficult for me. The sad thing is I have a feeling Pete would've been involved in my life if my mother had allowed it, especially after my parents divorced. Fast forward to today, Frank is 74 years old and might not be around for much longer. At this point, nothing in my life would drastically change if I told Frank that I knew, but it might be nice to talk about the elephant in the room. So do I tell him that I know and that I know he knows and that I appreciate everything he did for me, even though it caused me a lot of emotional trauma? Signed, Accepting My Fate and Setting Things Straight Before It's Too Late.
[00:03:58] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Another week, another banger, huh, Gabe?
[00:04:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ugh. I cannot make this stuff up. It sounds like a movie again, honestly.
[00:04:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Annette Bening plays this woman in the movie version for sure.
[00:04:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or the mom or Frank or Pete. She can play any of them. Honestly, she's just that good.
[00:04:12] Jordan Harbinger: Annette got hella range. Anyway, this is interesting. I'm a little surprised by where this letter went. She lists all of this incredibly painful stuff from her childhood. Frank not wanting custody, her parents abusing her, withholding affection, watching her sister get all the love. But then her question is, "Do I tell Frank, I know he's not my dad and that I appreciate everything he did for me, even though it caused me a lot of emotional trauma?" Like, wait, what?
[00:04:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. I thought the elephant in the room would be, "I know you're not my biological father and you treated me pretty poorly. And I want to talk about all of that."
[00:04:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Saying thank you to Frank, I mean, that's a kind thing to do. It's not completely unwarranted. She did say that she had some good memories, camping, hiking, him being proud of her when she made the dean's list and all that. So I get it. The picture is mixed, but I'm holding that alongside all of the objectively painful stuff she went through too. And I'm thinking like, "That's what you want to say to Frank."
[00:05:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, what I'm hearing is a woman, who's still very much processing this bombshell and who's still pretty confused about her childhood and that makes perfect sense. She got a lot of mixed messages from Frank, right? Love was withheld. And then given at random moments. Her family lied about who her real father was. Both parents were physically abusive. She didn't get to know Pete while he was alive, even though it seems that could have been possible. Now she has this urge to talk to Frank, but I get the sense that she's not totally clear on what to talk to Frank about, right? Is it, you know, "F you for lying and being an inconsistent father," or is it "Thank you for being the best father, you knew how to be given the circumstances"?
[00:05:44] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. My sense is that she's struggling with the ambiguity and contradictions of her childhood.
[00:05:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:05:51] Jordan Harbinger: And who can blame her? It's very confusing. But, you know, when she said, "Both of my parents were physically abusive, but it was a different time where this behavior was more accepted. So I don't consider myself an abused child. There are kids that had it far worse than I did." That's just a really great example of what we are talking about. It's like, okay, maybe it was a different time. Maybe there are kids who had it worse than you did.
[00:06:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: But they still hit you. You were still abused.
[00:06:13] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. I don't think she's talking about getting spanked when she does something bad and she's 10 years old. You know, I think we hear that on the show from time to time, these heartbreaking rationalizations. These ways to relativize abuse in a way that minimizes, or sometimes even justify something, yeah, objectively awful. But the reality is they hit you. It's terrible. I'm sure it made a big impact on you. And the reason I bring this up is the detail to me is a prime example of the confusion we were just talking about. I don't think she's fully in touch with the reality of what her mother and Frank did to her or didn't do for her. Until she really realizes that or recognizes that, owns it, processes it, it'll probably be hard to know how she truly feels about Frank.
[00:06:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: How she truly feels about Frank and also what she wants to get from him. You know, she's asking, "Do I say thank you?" And it's like, well, maybe, eventually, but there's a whole lot of territory for you to move through with Frank before you arrive at gratitude, jumping straight to the, "I know you're not my real dad, I know you weren't perfect, but thank you for everything you did," that's just skipping over a lot of material. And also maybe doing another version of the whole, "It wasn't so bad, other people had a worse thing," that you were just describing. Like, "Well, my childhood was kind of a sh*t show, but at least I had a dad who was proud of me sometimes. So I can't be that upset about it. In fact, I should really thank him." I appreciate that she has that impulse. She sounds like a really kind person. And I believe that some of that gratitude is genuine because there were definitely some bright spots in her childhood, for sure.
[00:07:46] But to your point, Jordan, that's probably, what's confusing that her childhood wasn't all good or all bad. It was this checkerboard of experiences that are maybe hard to categorize. She needs to get in touch with all of those parts, the loving ones and the painful ones, because until she does, she can't really understand and maybe grieve the childhood she didn't get, the relationships she was deprived of, the love she deserves. And her agenda with Frank will continue to be kind of murky.
[00:08:15] So yeah, my questions are, does she want to thank him or does she want to confront him? Does she want to express her anger and her sadness and her confusion? Does she maybe want an apology from him? I'm guessing she wants all of the above. She just doesn't know that quite yet.
[00:08:30] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Telling Frank she knows that he's not her real dad. Okay, it might be important and it's meaningful, but it's just the beginning of a huge conversation. So if I were you, I would start thinking about what you're hoping to achieve here. Get clear on your reasons for having this conversation because, without that, I'm just not sure you're going to get the insight and the resolution you're looking for here.
[00:08:53] And by the way, to make sure we were on the right track, we ran your story by Nancy Yen, marriage and family therapist and adoption expert, and Nancy had the exact same take. What are you hoping for in talking about the elephant in the room with Frank? To use Nancy's words, although what happened to you is not your fault, of course, it is your responsibility now that you've come to know what you really need. So being prepared for this conversation — knowing your expectations, understanding what outcomes would help you resolve this stuff — that'll help you get the most out of your decision to finally talk to him.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: And also I would add having a plan in place for what happens if Frank doesn't respond the way you hope. Like, for example, if you talk to him and he refuses to apologize or denies the abuse, or he shuts you down and just doesn't engage because it's too overwhelming for him, what are you going to do with that? Will that just create more pain for you? More confusion? And are you willing to risk that in order to get the closure you're looking for?
[00:09:51] Jordan Harbinger: Good point. She just doesn't know what's going to come back or how that'll fit in with her quest for the truth. Nancy's advice, which will be a surprise to no one, it would be hugely helpful to work with a family therapist who's trained to talk about elephants in rooms. That would help you do some major healing here. And for you specifically, it could be the start of a lifelong journey to relearning who you are, what you need right now, and what you really deserve in life, which is a bigger theme in your story here.
[00:10:19] So I hope you get to do that. We're sending you good thoughts and I hope you get what you need out of this conversation with Frank. Keep us posted and good luck.
[00:10:27] Gabe, you know, who also bangs their steps—? You know, actually, this ad pivot, just not going to go anywhere good, not anywhere good. We'll be right back.
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[00:11:58] This episode is sponsored in part by Progressive insurance. Let's face it. Multitasking can be overwhelming. Like when your favorite podcast is playing, the person next to you is talking and your car fan is blasting, all while you're trying to find the perfect parking spot. But then again, sometimes multitasking is easy, like quoting with Progressive insurance. They do the hard work of comparing rates. So you can find a great rate that works for you, even if it's not with them. Give their comparison tool a try, and you might just find getting the rate and coverage you deserve is easy. All you need to do is visit Progressive's website to get a quote with all the coverages you want, like comprehensive and collision coverage or personal injury protection. Then you'll see Progressive's direct rate and their tool will provide options from other companies all lined up and ready to compare. So it's simple to choose the rate and coverages you like. Press play on comparing auto rates, quote at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
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[00:13:14] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:13:18] Okay. What's next?
[00:13:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My mom has done so much for me over the years and I admire her a lot. My dad passed away when I was five. And even though that was hard for her, she became independent, bought a house, and got me into a great. She even took in my addicted aunt's kids and my grandmother, even though she couldn't work for a couple of years. I then began helping her financially, despite living on my own. Eventually, she had to move in with me and I got a new place to accommodate her and my cousin. The pandemic then delayed her plans to get on her own two feet again, as she was laid off and couldn't find a job. We finally landed on her starting her own business, which is promising so far, but who knows how long it'll be until she's independent again. I'm glad I'm in a position to help my mom and my family, but I can't ignore that. It's taken a huge toll on my personal life, especially with my romantic relationships. I did well in my early 20s, going on dates, meeting people and eventually getting into a three-year relationship, but I'm 31 now and I don't have as many opportunities. I feel judged by people for the fact that my mom lives with me, cooks dinner, and takes care of things around the house. She does all that to make things fair and contribute which I appreciate and respect, but I feel like I haven't progressed enough. I wish I could just say, "Ah, I don't care what people think," because I believe it's the right thing to do for family, but I just can't help it feel like a mama's boy, stunted and discouraged. How can I move on with my life without leaving my mom behind? Signed, Mom, The Meatloaf.
[00:14:53] Chazz Reinhold: "Hey, ma, can we get some meatloaf?" (Wedding Crashers)
[00:14:56] Jordan Harbinger: Uh, yeah, this is a tough one. I got to say it's very tougher than my mom's meatloaf. Sorry, mom. I got to say it's very touching how you've helped your mom get through this tough period. And in fact, it sounds like that's just how your family is. She hustled for you. She sacrificed to take in her family members, even though she wasn't even working. You helped her financially. You let her move in and she's still working to make things fair by pitching in around the house.
[00:15:21] Gabe, I'm thinking about that other letter we took a while back from that, well, gross freeloading family that lived with one of our listeners and just didn't do anything to help—
[00:15:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, yeah.
[00:15:30] Jordan Harbinger: —around the house. They just sat around watching TV, smoking weed, eating their food. This is not that family. This is a family that is thoughtful and obviously appreciates everything that they do for one another. Yeah, that's going to make it really hard to say, "Okay, mom, I got you through the pandemic, but enough's enough. I'm trying to smash on Bumble. And that is impossible when I come home with somebody to find you folding my undies in the living room, on the couch. Yeah, time to find your own place." I mean, how do you kick out your mom when she's like, "What do you want for dinner tomorrow?" And you're like, "Get the hell out of my house," right? You can't do that.
[00:16:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Brutal. Brutal. Yeah. This is hard. She's done so much for him over the years. It would probably be unthinkable not to support her but, yeah, it drastically cramps your style at 31 years old to be living with a parent. I feel for this guy. It's not like mom's living in the guest house or the detached garage, right? She's on the couch, you know, watching Cheer when you and Jessica come stumbling in from your third date. She's in the kitchen making eggs in the morning when you walk her out. It's awkward. It makes you feel stunted. I get that, but you're stuck between being a good son and being a healthy, independent, single guy.
[00:16:41] So obviously, the answer is that mom needs to get back on her feet. That's the only way this situation changes. Either that or you accept the trade-offs that come with living with her. And you find a partner who won't judge you for that, maybe even somebody who values it. But it sounds like a lot of this judgment is coming from you. And again, I get it. It's perfectly understandable to want some privacy and independence at your age.
[00:17:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Basically, he needs to sit down with his mom and help her come up with a plan. That's the right thing to do for both of them, because I don't think it's healthy for either of them to be all up in each other's business, no matter how good their relationship is. How much money is this new business bringing in? How long until mom can support herself? What can you do to help her drum up more business, generate more income, save more money? Is there some transitional phase where she has enough to afford her own place, but maybe you still pitch in to cover her expenses, somehow? You guys need to be partners on this, come up with a little roadmap, some concrete, next steps.
[00:17:42] Even if you realize it's going to be another year before she can move out, at least you know. And then when your girl, Jessica is like, "Oh, you live with your mom." You can be like, "Yeah, I do. I'm helping her out while she gets on her feet. August next year, she's getting her own place. We got a plan. Everything's going great. You're going to love her." And that'll signal something very different to the people you date. And it'll also give you some psychological freedom knowing you're not locked in this situation forever.
[00:18:09] Gabe, you know, another thing I thought of is mom might also be like, "I'm just going to stay like this. This is great." And if they come up with a plan, then it's like, "Oh okay. You do want me to eventually move out. Yeah. I can see your point that you're perpetually single and it's sort of partially my fault here. Maybe I should change my thinking or maybe I need to budget for this." You don't want to one day be like, "Your business is doing really good, mom. Yeah. Let's go to dinner and bring your suitcases because I'm leaving you at P.F. Chang's when we're done."
[00:18:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Brutal. Brutal once again. Yeah, it's hard. I mean, actually, Jordan, you're making a really good point, which is, you know, what does taking care of his mom really mean? And what should it actually look like? I get the sense that this family is very involved in one another's lives. They feel responsible for one another. And look on one level, that's really sweet. I mean, like he said, his dad died when he was young. It sounds like he's very identified with his mom. He's on our side. He wants to take care of her. I'm just going to go out on a limb and guess that when your father passes away at that age and your mom sacrifices this much for you, you do sort of feel like she's your responsibility and it's again, unthinkable to just entertain the possibility that you're going to kick your mom to the curb. It's just too brutal. But on another level, it does make me wonder if maybe they're a little too wrapped up in one another and possibly a little enmeshed.
[00:19:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I see where you're going with this, but there are practical realities here too, right? You can't just let your mom be homeless. You can't tell your teenage nephews that they're on their own because their mom is addicted to meth, but you want your privacy. That's just not going to work. They're family.
[00:19:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. And I'm not saying they should. And also look, there's a cultural element here in some cultures and some families, some countries. This is just what you do for family, and fair enough.
[00:19:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I guess what I'm asking is what would it look like if you helped your mom and you had some boundaries around your space, around your finances, around your timeline. What would've happened if your mom had said to her sister, "Listen, I love you. And I'm going to make sure that your kids have a roof over their heads, but you need to get help and you need to come back sober in three months and I'm going to help you put your life back together so that you can be a mom again"? That kind of appropriate boundaried help, where you are supportive without enabling and where you're involved with your family, but you're not enmeshed. That's what a more balanced relationship could look like.
[00:20:25] And that could be incredibly hard to even imagine. Again, when you grow up in a family where those boundaries are very fuzzy, maybe don't even exist, because you just do whatever your family needs, no matter what, even if it's the result of poor choices or events that weren't really your responsibility.
[00:20:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. I see your point.
[00:20:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I would just keep an eye on that and see if maybe there's a larger template here with your family. That's worth exploring. And to be clear, that is totally compatible with loving your mom and appreciating what she's done for you and making sure she's okay. In fact, I would argue long term, it's an even better way of taking care of her. And that's also something to consider if you ever want to have kids of your own. So you don't pass on any of these unhelpful models to your own family when, you know, firsthand how difficult it's been.
[00:21:12] Jordan Harbinger: Solid advice, Gabe. That is definitely the larger question here. How to love and take care of people without taking on their burden unfairly or unnecessarily, especially when it comes to family? Of course, that's always harder.
[00:21:25] So I hope that gives you a way forward here. Again, it says a lot about you guys that you've been so good to each other, especially through these hard times. I don't want to gloss over how loving and generous all of you seem to be. I think it's really amazing, but my hope—
[00:21:38] Ugh, I said hope. "But my hope is that you'll come home for Shabbat."
[00:21:43] But my hope is that this is just a transitional phase and that you can find some healthy—
[00:21:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sorry. I can't stop over. I'm sorry.
[00:21:50] Jordan Harbinger: —and that you can find some healthy separation, I have a feeling that'll be good for all of you. Good luck.
[00:21:55] And Gabe's losing his sh*t.
[00:21:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: "My hope is that you come over for Shabbat."
[00:21:59] Jordan Harbinger: "You're killing your mother."
[00:22:02] You can reach us friday at jordanharbinger.com. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line. It does make our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life love, work. How to bring your polyamorous trouple home to your conservative parents? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:22:28] All right, what's next?
[00:22:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: So just heads up this one's a tiny bit dark. So just keep that in mind before you listen.
[00:22:34] Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I've led quite a life and I've been through some very real struggles, but ever since I hit rock bottom, I've been experiencing some really intense intrusive thoughts. Thoughts, like drive into oncoming traffic, cut off my tongue, cut off my hand, stab myself in the wrist, stab myself in the throat, jump off high places, fall asleep in water, set myself on fire, the list goes on and on. I never act on these thoughts, but they do scare me a little, which is probably a good sign. They also flare up when I'm not doing so well mentally. Are intrusive thoughts a normal aspect of life? Is this a standard thing for someone who's been through some stuff and come out the other side? Or are these warning signs of deteriorating mental health that I should seek help for? Signed, Connecting Some Conclusive Dots from These Intrusive Thoughts.
[00:23:25] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I'm really sorry to hear that you've been dealing with these intrusive thoughts. It sounds really scary. I know they can be really intense and very frightening. So I'm glad that you reached. Actually, the fact that you reached out, that's really encouraging. It tells me that you have a lot of agency and perspective when it comes to these thoughts and that is going to make managing them much easier.
[00:23:48] Gabe, I don't know about you. I have what I guess are intrusive thoughts that I've talked about on the show before mine are much more mild. They're not even in the same ballpark as what we just discussed. For example, I will think, what would happen if I just reached over the bar and slapped the bartender right in the face right now? And it's just, it's out of nowhere. You know what if I tripped that server with a huge ass plate of food and beers? I would never in a zillion years do that to anyone. I don't want to hurt anyone. But I guess it's the social experimenter in me wondering how people would react.
[00:24:19] And I've asked when I'm with friends or even with Jen, I'm like, does anyone else have these thoughts? And I would say, Jen also says, yes. Other people will say yes. And some people are like, "No, you guys are weird." Your intrusive thoughts are obviously on a totally different level. Obviously, they involve serious self-harm. But I think a lot of people have stuff like this. It's just a matter of degree.
[00:24:38] We wanted to reach out and get an expert's opinion on all this. So we reached out to the one and only Dr. Erin Margolis, clinical psychologist and friend of the show. And Dr. Margolis said that, yes, intrusive thoughts, totally normal. In the sense that any human can have intrusive thoughts. And a lot of people frequently do, myself included, but these thoughts aren't as distressing or sticky or persistent for everybody. And yeah, they can certainly be more prevalent or activated in times of stress or distress. They can happen to people who've been through intense stuff and come out the other side.
[00:25:11] Dr. Margolis said, it's also possible that you have something else going on and that's making the intrusive thoughts more prominent right now. These thoughts can also be symptoms of a disorder such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD. Many things can involve intrusive thoughts as symptoms, but that doesn't mean that the work you did in the past wasn't valuable, or that you haven't made a ton of progress in your life. These thoughts could just be one more thing to work through, or they could be an expression of some potential emotional residue from those earlier difficult experiences.
[00:25:44] So when we talked to Dr. Margolis, she said, she'd be interested in understanding a few other things here. First, what do you do when the thoughts come up? Do you recognize the thoughts and release them and they just go away on their own? Do you actively suppress them? Do you do something to distract yourself, et cetera? And if so, do you do something distressing or destructive or time-consuming to neutralize the intrusive thoughts? Maybe things that aren't actually helping or bringing you any comfort.
[00:26:09] For example, when these thoughts come, do you feel you have to, I don't know, switch a light on and off 17 times? Do you wash your hands repeatedly in a way that's super stressful and makes you late for things? Do you avoid the kitchen because you're afraid of stabbing yourself, even though you love cooking? Those are a few examples of managing the thoughts in a way that causes further distress and impedes your life.
[00:26:30] Dr. Margolis told us that when clinicians try to understand intrusive thoughts, they like to ask patients three questions to determine the likelihood of somebody acting on them, whether they're in danger of hurting themselves or someone else. First, are the thoughts, egodystonic? Egodystonic means that the thoughts are repugnant or distressing or unacceptable to you. They aren't consistent with how you see yourself. It sounds like these thoughts are egodystonic because as you said, they scare you, which is actually a good sign. Second, have you ever acted on these thoughts before? And three, are these just thoughts or are they related to some kind of command hallucination? That's like a voice actively telling you to do something.
[00:27:11] Since the thoughts are egodystonic, you haven't acted on them and they don't seem to be command hallucinations, Dr. Margolis said, she's less concerned about the likelihood of you harming yourself in the ways that you described but these thoughts are distressing. They scare you. They flare up when you're stressed. It does seem that addressing the underlying cause of these intrusive thoughts would be beneficial in healing whatever's happening on a deeper level.
[00:27:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely. Another really interesting thing Dr. Margolis shared with us is that intrusive thoughts, they tend to hit you where you live. In other words, they usually have a theme that is somehow relevant to you and some way. The content of the thoughts might vary but the theme, that's often about a core need or a core value of yours, or it's just reflecting something that's important to you.
[00:27:58] So for example, if the general theme is harm and there's a part of your life that feels sort of unsafe, these thoughts could be expressing or latching onto your desire for safety, or since a lot of the thoughts that you mentioned have to do with cutting something off your tongue, your hand, that could be a metaphorical expression of being disconnected from a part of yourself. Maybe you feel, I don't know, inarticulate or stifled or unheard by people, or just alienated from certain aspects of yourself. You get the idea. The themes could really be anything. It could be escape. It could be self-worth, punishment, the desire to be taken care of. That's a very common one. For example, if any of these things actually happen to you, someone would have to really take care of you and maybe that's a fantasy of yours. And to be clear, we're not telling you what any of your thoughts actually mean. That's for you to explore, for you to figure out. We're just sharing a few possibilities.
[00:28:53] So bottom line, if these thoughts are distressing enough and you want to learn how to live with them in a way that doesn't cause as much distress, I do think it would be worthwhile to talk to a professional. Find a therapist or talk to your therapist about these thoughts if you're already in therapy. It sounds like you've already worked through a lot of other stuff, which is great, but this sounds like an important area to work on even further.
[00:29:15] In the meantime, Dr. Margolis said that it is helpful to remember that these thoughts, they don't necessarily mean anything based on what they look like on the surface, as she put it to us, thoughts are not facts. They're just thoughts. And some thoughts are stickier than others, and that can make them more difficult, but thoughts don't ultimately have any power over you. You get to decide what meaning to make of them. And you get to decide what to do with them.
[00:29:41] Jordan Harbinger: Which is why I was happy that she reached out. She's already deciding what to make of them and that is a great sign. So start talking, start getting curious about these thoughts. I have a feeling that once you start unpacking them, they'll become more meaningful than they are frightening. That'll teach you a lot about yourself. Oh, and don't slap that bartender in the face, kind of a dick move. Good luck.
[00:30:02] Oh, and big thanks to Dr. Margolis for her wisdom, as always. Dr. Margolis is seeing patients in Los Angeles and virtually throughout California. You can learn more about her and how she works at drerinmargolis.com. That's D-R-ErinMargolis.com.
[00:30:16] We're going to take a quick break. Don't cut off any extremities. We'll be right back.
[00:30:24] This episode is sponsored in part by Squarespace. Have you ever thought I'm just an ordinary dude or dudette? Do I really need a website? The answer is a resounding, yes, especially if you run a business, you do freelance work, or even work as an employee. A website is indispensable. Having a website will make you easier to find, and it'll make you more hireable because it builds your credibility as well as your personal brand. And whether you think those are annoying or cringe or not, they exist. You'll definitely stand out in the sea of resumes if you have your own website. It's never been easier or more affordable to create a website with Squarespace. You don't need to know how to code with Squarespace, just pick a template, a design theme, then customize it. Squarespace has all the tools you need to get your personal site or online business off the ground. You can even generate revenue through gated members-only content, manage members, send email communications, leverage audience insights, all-in-one, easy-to-use platform. I'm not even scratching the surface of what you can do on Squarespace. Give it a try for free at squarespace.com/jordan. That's squarespace.com/jordan. Use the code JORDAN to save 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain.
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[00:32:40] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:32:42] All right, what's next?
[00:32:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I work in the public sector and an executive I've long looked up to as a role model and mentor, and who took me under their wing a few years ago and really helped me grow is now faced with a massive Exodus of staff from their unit. I currently work in another part of the organization with a great executive and my old mentor's staff keep reaching out to us, wanting to come work here, which is great as we're growing rapidly. Our units are similar and in a pretty specialized field. So it's expected for both units to hire from each other's staff. But this has led my old mentor to accuse us of poaching employees from their unit to our bosses. This mentor reached out to me, wanting to know why this kept happening, and I agreed to speak with them about the broad dynamics I'm seeing in their organization that might be driving employees away. I am now dreading this conversation. I have a lot of useful information to share having had several discussions with staff, but I know that my old mentor tends to take things pretty personally and take it out on people around them. What makes this even harder is the fact that part of the problem is their approach to employee retention, which includes renegotiating employees' departure dates behind their back, guilt-tripping employees into staying months longer than they want, and making them find their own replacements. How do I tell my old mentor that they've created a toxic work environment and getting a really bad rep for making employees' lives hell when they try to leave? Signed, Breaking This News to a Short Fuse Without Causing a Bruise.
[00:34:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oof, this is awkward. Delivering tough news to a boss or mentor, especially if they really helped you out in the past is tricky. Honestly, I'm at a bit of a loss here. It's been years since I worked in a corporate environment and this kind of politicing just makes my head hurt. Gabe, you want to take this one?
[00:34:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I can do this one.
[00:34:34] Jordan Harbinger: Awesome. I'll be over here thinking about how lucky I am to be self-employed for the last decade and a half. The only prickly manager I've ever had to give tough feedback to is myself, which in many ways is easier, but I guess not always.
[00:34:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, no problem. I got you. So, okay. It's been a while since I was in a traditional organization too, but I do remember having to have a few conversations that were kind of similar to this when I worked in consulting and, yeah, it's hard.
[00:34:57] So let's start by acknowledging that this conversation will probably be a little uncomfortable no matter what. Your old mentor is a tricky personality. It's never fun for somebody to get news like this. Also, it sounds like they're kind of worked up right now. So you might be dealing with some volatile feelings when you meet, but there is a way to prime them a little bit to hear some tough news.
[00:35:19] So here's how I would do it. First of all, I would start the conversation by telling them that, you know, it's been frustrating to see employees leave their group and that they feel your unit has been poaching them. You know, just validate their frustration, make them feel heard, be on their side for a moment. And then I would say something like, "So I've learned a few things and I think I have a sense of why this might be happening and I'm happy to share it with you. And I just want to say some of this intel might be a little bit tough to take in, but you know how much I look up to you. I really appreciate everything you've done for me. And if I were you, I would want someone to tell me this."
[00:35:55] By the way, that's like a little ninja move I picked up when I was working in corporate life. "I really value you. And if I were you, I'd want someone to tell me," that whole thing.
[00:36:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:36:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: What you're really saying is, "Please give me permission to give you some tough feedback and know that it's all out of love, but also please be open and secure enough to hear it. And don't take it out on me because I'm not your enemy. I'm your friend."
[00:36:17] Jordan Harbinger: Damn. That's good. I feel like that works in personal relationships too.
[00:36:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think any relationship, as long as you mean it, it can completely change the tone of the conversation because then it's a lot harder for the other person to reject what you are saying or, you know, lash out at you or whatever.
[00:36:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You're almost getting them to implicitly opt in to the feedback.
[00:36:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. And then you tell your mentor, "So look, I've picked up on a few things I'm hearing from folks. The sense I get is that they weren't totally happy with some of the policies in your unit. Departure dates were renegotiated behind people's backs. People felt that they were kind of pressured to stay months longer than they wanted. They had to find their own replacements. And I think all of that, plus the general vibe in the department that made them want to have a different experience." And maybe this is an organic moment for you to also say, "Our group didn't poach them. They just wanted to come over and we were excited to have some new blood. I understand how it looks that way, but please know that I would never actually try to steal people from you," or something like that.
[00:37:16] And then hopefully, you guys just get into a good conversation about it. If your old boss is even a little bit open, maybe you can help them see how certain decisions are making people want to leave. And maybe you even share a few solutions, but also I wouldn't feel too much responsibility to also fix the whole problem for your mentor. Your responsibility is just to share the feedback in a constructive way and let them process it in their own way and decide what to do.
[00:37:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's a great approach, Gabe. I like it, but I'm a little worried about the fact that this manager tends to take stuff out on other people. What happens if they have this meeting and 20 minutes later, they're throwing a freaking stapler at somebody's head or something?
[00:37:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, we're talking like a Swingline or like a Bostitch?
[00:37:58] Jordan Harbinger: I am getting strong Bostitch vibes from this manager. Swingline sounds way more easygoing. I mean, a Swingline, that's what you throw when somebody beats you at mini-golf and you're kind of upset about it, but not really.
[00:38:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Bostitch, those are the heavy-duty ones, right?
[00:38:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They got rubber, they're chunky boys. They got rubber feet on them if memory serves.
[00:38:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So forget what I said. Just don't say anything at all — yeah, I'm kidding.
[00:38:20] Okay. Look, there's a chance that your mentor won't respond as well as you hope. And you might want to massage the script we just shared. Maybe you speak more generally in some places, or you only include the details that you think they can handle right now. You do have to tailor your message a little bit, but again, It's also not your job to make sure that they handle this news perfectly. That's their job. If you share this news with them, and then they badmouth their old employees or scream at people in the kitchen or whatever, they're just confirming your feedback.
[00:38:50] And they're probably digging their own grave, ultimately, because eventually, the higher-ups are going to wonder why everybody's fling their unit. And when they ask the employees, everyone in the office is just going to gesture vaguely in the direction of your mentor's unit and then the news will come out. So, yes, you have to balance honesty with the repercussions. I wouldn't be like, "Well, Brian in finance said you pushed his end date twice and then you made him send 150 LinkedIn messages until 10:00 p.m. every night to find his replacement." Obviously, be thoughtful about it. And if your mentor's like, "Who told you this? I want to know. Give me names." Maybe you say, "Look, I've just been hearing it. I've been noticing it. And it seems like a lot of people have had that experience," something like that.
[00:39:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I agree. I think it'd just be cool about it to an extent, but I feel for the person writing. It's so hard to give criticism to somebody who's been good to you. It just goes against all your instincts to thank them and protect them even when you shouldn't be.
[00:39:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that gets into what you mean by protect them. Is withholding good feedback protecting them?
[00:39:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or is protecting them, having the courage to say, "Hey, here's the problem and here's how you can fix it"?
[00:39:54] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, that's a good point.
[00:39:55] This is actually a good moment to point you to an article we wrote about that exact topic. Do you owe your friends honesty? All the ideas we talked about in that piece apply to professional relationships as well. So I definitely give that a read as you prepare for this conversation. We'll link that for you in the show.
[00:40:12] I hope this chat with your old boss goes, well, I know you can share this news in the right way, and I know that they'll be better off for it. Good luck and watch out for flying staplers or just hope you get the Swingline.
[00:40:24] All right, next up.
[00:40:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 45-year-old divorced mother of two young children. And a year ago, I started dating a man. I met on a dating app. A month into the relationship. I discovered that my younger sister had matched with him on the same dating app six months earlier. They never met in person because they got into an argument and unmatched each other. And my now-boyfriend didn't realize that we were related. Once my sister and I discovered it was the same person, she told me she didn't want me to date him. At this point, I had already gone out with him four or five times, and I liked him. He's really nice and he treats me well. When I refuse to stop seeing him, my sister erupted and told me that I dated losers, that I was only doing this to make myself feel better after my divorce. And that I intentionally kept dating this guy to compete with her. I remained non-reactive and got phone calls afterward from other family members whom she had brought in to campaign against the relationship, including my mother who now refuses to meet him in solidarity with my sister. When I told my boyfriend what had happened, he immediately offered to apologize to her. I communicated the offer but she never responded. Six weeks later, my brother called me and told me that my sister has expanded her beef against me to include arguments and disagreements we've had over the past 10 years. My sister, by the way, has a long history of fighting with people and has never had a relationship last more than a couple of months. Then things really escalated. This past weekend, my brother told me confidentially that my sister and my mom had recently buried my father's ashes in his hometown. Neither of them told me they even had the ashes or where he was going to be buried. I'm really astounded by this. I took care of my dad for three months before he died of cancer and was probably the closest relationship he had with any of his children. So do I say anything to my sister about any of this? Is this all my fault for continuing to date a guy my sister dislikes? And how do I fix this given that my boyfriend and I have discussed getting married in the next six months? Signed, Swipe Left on All This Drama or Swipe Right on Better Karma.
[00:42:36] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Okay. Well, let me just save you a whole bunch of time and trouble here. Your sister is freaking nuts.
[00:42:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the long and the short of it, yeah.
[00:42:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's funny. Look, the woman writing in, she lays out all this really hurtful and manipulative stuff her sister has done. Writing this guy off without giving him a chance, forcing her to break up with somebody that she actually likes, rallying all of these family members to campaign against the relationship in what seems, frankly, like a manipulative/dishonest way of getting her to do what she wants. And then secretly burying their dad's ashes, not telling her where, but the one nitpicky little detail that really sums up this sister to me, Gabriel, is picking a fight with somebody on a freaking dating app. That is so telling.
[00:43:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dude, totally, I had the same reaction. Like, who has time for that?
[00:43:24] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:43:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: You don't like somebody, you disagree about something fine. You unmatch, you move on with your life. You don't stick around to have a fight that's big enough to remain an issue six months later.
[00:43:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right big enough that she remembers it, but the guy doesn't even remember the person.
[00:43:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:43:38] Jordan Harbinger: Let alone the conflict that they had. So this woman—
[00:43:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:43:41] Jordan Harbinger: —built this thing up in her mind and the guy's like, "What? What a weirdo?"
[00:43:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Like, who? Yeah.
[00:43:44] Jordan Harbinger: This is clearly a woman who creates conflict wherever she goes. In fact, I bet she craves conflict.
[00:43:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:43:51] Jordan Harbinger: She's drawn to petty drama, obviously. She's convinced that she's right or just doesn't even care. She mobilizes everyone in her life to back her up, which is just honestly pathetic. When you said your sister has a long history of fighting with people, that she's never had a relationship last more than a couple of months, I was like, yeah, that tracks. That definitely adds up.
[00:44:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:44:12] Jordan Harbinger: She's a miserable wretch, right? Honestly, it's unhappy. It sounds to me like she might even have a disorder of some kind. I'm not trying to make light of that, but on top of all that, I get the sense that you, in particular, you're a very charged relationship for her.
[00:44:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, definitely. So I hear a lot of envy from the sister in this letter. I hear some competitiveness between them. I'm guessing that goes back a long time. The fact that the woman writing in took care of the dad before he died, that he was the closest with her out of all the siblings. I'm guessing that's pretty painful for the sister too. And who knows that relationship? It might even be one of the reasons these sisters aren't close. It's impossible for us to know, but I'm sure that it does not sit well with her. And so she secretly gets the ashes and buries them with the mom without telling her sister. And maybe that's her way of getting back at her or asserting her dominance and also kind of monopolizing the mom a little bit—
[00:45:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm
[00:45:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: —too. They're part of this little conspiracy together. She's on team sister. Mom won't meet the boyfriend out of respect for her other daughter. Mom is clearly under sister's spell here.
[00:45:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's another fascinating layer here, how this family operates. There's just so much to say about that. And we got to wrap this up in a few minutes, but yeah, sister has claimed mom, mom is siding with sister, sister is talking sh*t about our friend here to their other family members, getting them to meddle in their great relationship. And they do, they do it. Brother is backchanneling with everyone, secretly feeding information back to the woman writing in. He's Switzerland, kind of playing all sides. There's a lot of unresolved stuff in this family. There's all this weird secrecy, backchannel, jockeying for influence and jockeying for love in here. And I think that just speaks to how messy and complicated these family dynamics are. And to be honest, Gabe, I just don't know how this woman is supposed to fix all of that.
[00:46:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: She can't. She can only focus on herself and her immediate relationships. And to her credit, I think she's already doing that.
[00:46:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I really commend her for that. I also commend her for not breaking up with this guy to appease her sister. In fact, the same things that created a problem with her sister, those are probably the same things that make this guy pretty awesome.
[00:46:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's hilarious. It's almost like her sister is a litmus test for the right guys to date.
[00:46:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:46:24] Jordan Harbinger: Did Kathleen pick a fight with him about Game of Thrones season eight on Hinge? Great. Okay. Sign me up. Knowing Kathleen, she probably loved season eight and thought it was, "Oh, everything came together perfectly." That's tasteless.
[00:46:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. Yeah. I'm going to cut you off right there because we will get vicious, I think, in a second.
[00:46:39] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I'm getting worked up about season eight. Kathleen, call me.
[00:46:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Kathleen—
[00:46:46] So do you say anything to your sister about any of this? You could, it sounds like you have some things to get off your chest. It might be hard for you to just stuff that down and pretend everything's fine. Is she going to hear you? Will she be able to engage with you fairly? Hard to say. Sadly, based on what you've shared my guess is no.
[00:47:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but it doesn't mean it's not worth trying, right? She might just want to tell her sister how she feels about what she did. Go on record there, stand up for herself a little bit. Maybe, that's the goal of the conversation.
[00:47:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that's totally fair. But like the woman from question one, the one who was trying to figure out whether to talk to her stepdad, I think it's important to be realistic about what you can expect from that conversation. So you're not looking for something from your sister that she just can't offer you because, well, like Jordan said, she's kind of nuts.
[00:47:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:47:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: If you guys are going to make real progress in your relationship and I mean, really dig into the past and resolve all of this toxic stuff and rewrite these messy patterns, she's going to have to be in a very different place, probably doing her own work. And you might even need a family therapist to help you guys work through all of that.
[00:47:52] But at this point, honestly, maybe that's not even a priority for you. Your priority is like, "Carve out my own life."
[00:47:58] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: "Be with a guy who makes me happy and just kind of manage my sister, quarantine my sister from infecting the rest of my life."
[00:48:05] As for your last question, is this all your fault for continuing to date this guy?
[00:48:09] Jordan Harbinger: Hell no.
[00:48:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, of course not. They never dated. They got into a fight about something dumb. He didn't even—
[00:48:14] Jordan Harbinger: Not even in real life, on an app, on a dating app.
[00:48:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: He didn't even remember that. She hung onto it. She refused to give him another chance. When she found out you guys were dating, she refused to get to know him. She made it about her.
[00:48:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:48:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: She didn't trust your judgment. She couldn't just let you be happy. The whole thing with your boyfriend might have precipitated this latest round of drama, but it's obvious that this conflict goes back way before you met him. And that it's informed by stuff that has honestly nothing to do with you.
[00:48:43] But I do think it's interesting that you ask that question, you know, is it my fault for continuing to date him? Because, Jordan, I wonder if that speaks to how much she looks to herself to explain her sister's, frankly, unhinged behavior. I mean, look, to be fair, it's humble of you. It's self-aware, it's actually one of the reasons I'm pretty confident that you are not the a-h*le in this situation. But the idea that you might be responsible for your sister and your mom denying you the chance to bury your dad and not even telling you where he was buried because you dated somebody, they didn't — I mean, I don't know. That just makes me kind of sad. It's like, I imagine all the ways in which you might have blamed yourself for your sister's bullsh*t or took on the responsibility for her reactions, maybe even cut yourself off from certain opportunities or relationships, just to spare her feelings. That to me is the heart of your letter. What part is me and what part is just Kathleen and her bullsh*t.
[00:49:37] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely. What you're getting at, Gabe, is that having a sister like this, it's a whole thing. It's a huge issue that you constantly have to manage. And it's a relationship that probably has informed so much of your childhood and your life. Maybe in ways, you don't even realize.
[00:49:54] That's where I would spend my energy on trying to appreciate that and finding a safer way of relating to your sister, maybe with the help of some strong boundaries, maybe even limited contact if you need to do that rather than trying to fix the whole family or repair the whole relationship. I hope you get there one day. I hope your sister is even capable of doing that, but in a world where she isn't, I say focus on your experience. Keep carving out this great life with your boyfriend. Keep being a great mom to your kids. Those are the parts of your life that you can control. I'm really happy to hear you found someone, especially after going through a tough divorce. And I'm wishing you and your boyfriend the best.
[00:50:35] And you know, like, I'm not saying you have to invite us to the wedding, but at least send us some pictures of your sister, scowling by the open bar, scrolling on Bumble for her next Internet fight about the freaking Mandalorian or whatever. Good luck.
[00:50:47] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week and of course, everybody who listen. Go back and check out the episodes with Barbara F. Walter and Reid Hoffman if you haven't yet.
[00:50:57] If you want to know how he managed to book all these folks for the show — I know a lot of you think guests just fall in my lap. That's not the case. In some ways it is, but mostly, it's due to the network that I've built over the years. And I'm teaching you those same skills. You can use them in your business. You can use them in your personal life. That's our Six-Minute Networking course. That course is free over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build those relationships before you need them. They take five minutes a day. Just don't ignore this habit, you will do so at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff decades ago. It has helped me in immeasurable ways. Again, free jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it.
[00:51:35] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discounts all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:51:54] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer, not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show.
[00:52:12] Nancy Yen and Dr. Margolis' input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature and does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance.
[00:52:26] And finally, remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please do 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 this show. So you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:52:43] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into here's a trailer for a recent episode I did with Simon Sinek. He's been on the show a couple of times. Simon is one of the most sought-after speakers and mentors in the corporate world, but he's no stuffed shirt. Well, here are some of his wisdom from the elite levels of public speaking, as well as his organizational skills that keep him at the top of the game.
[00:53:04] Simon Sinek: I have a vision of the world that does not yet exist and I'm trying to build it and whatever it takes for me to advance that vision — speaking, writing, teaching, whatever it is — I'll do it. I remember when cell phones were just starting to show up. You know, there was this great promise that we could leave the office because of this device. And in reality, it backfired. We don't leave the office. The office comes with us.
[00:53:24] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:53:24] Simon Sinek: So we're always at the office, you know, because of the device. One of the things that happens when we take the office with us is if we're not constantly engaging and checking in, we actually feel guilty that we're not. You know, you're walking to the subway, you're on the device.
[00:53:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:53:38] Simon Sinek: If you're off the subway, going to the office, you're on the device. We take the phone with us to the bathroom. You hold it in and look for the phone, you know? That there's something unhealthy you about that.
[00:53:47] Jordan Harbinger: That's so true.
[00:53:47] Simon Sinek: You know, when we're not connected, we actually feel guilty. And the reality is, is that ideas don't happen when we're connected, ideas happen when our minds have an opportunity to wander. And this is why we have our great ideas in the shower, when we're driving, when we're out for a run, when we're just going for a walk because the brainstorming session actually isn't the time to solve the problem. The brainstorming session is the time to ask the question. Allowing ourselves in these disengaged times is absolutely essential for innovation. It's absolutely essential for problem-solving. It's absolutely essential for creativity to disengage with the device.
[00:54:19] The problem is, I don't know when it's going to happen. When I was writing Leaders Eat Last, I would have so many ideas in the shower and I would forget them as quickly as I had them that I kept a dry-erase marker in my bathroom. And I wrote on the tiles. And so as soon as I got out of the shower while I was brushing my teeth, I'd write an idea on the tile. And so when I was standing there the next day, brushing my teeth, I'd be staring at my writing on the tile and I'd sometimes have another idea. And so you, it looked like A Beautiful Mind, it was ridiculous. All the tiles had these little chicken scratches all over it and I didn't want to raise any of them because I didn't know what ideas were going to be sparked.
[00:54:49] But my point is like, if you figure out what works for you, do that. Keep a notebook by your bed. If you go for a run, take a notebook with you. I usually carry a notebook in the back of my pocket at all times because I don't know when I'm going to have an idea. And like I said, I lose them as quickly as I have them.
[00:55:02] Jordan Harbinger: For more from Simon Sinek, including why it's important to have a worthy rival to stay sharp, check out episode 300 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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