Is your mean drunk sister really the best choice to care for your dad while he’s going through the early stages of dementia? 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:
- Is your mean drunk sister really the best choice to care for your dad while he’s going through the early stages of dementia?
- Can someone who was abused during involuntary commitment receive anonymous therapy to work through their trauma without the therapist knowing their identity or reporting them to the police if they disclose suicidal thoughts? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- How do you politely (and effectively) get it through your annoying ex-employee’s skull that he no longer works for you and shouldn’t show up to your wine bar six days a week?
- How can you help your good-hearted but socially anxious and disheveled friend overcome their self-defeating behaviors and find romance?
- A listener shares how our very own Jase’s story in episode 881 helped them unload a long-time mental burden with the help of a good friend.
- 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 and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
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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Miss our interview with Freeway Rick Ross, the crack empire kingpin gone good? Catch up with episode 121: Freeway Rick Ross | Life in the Crack Lane here!
Resources from This Episode:
- A New Civil War in Sudan | Out of the Loop | Jordan Harbinger
- Shane Parrish | Decoding Decisions Through Clear Thinking | Jordan Harbinger
- What To Know About An Angry Drinker | BetterHelp
- How Can I Help My Sister with Alcoholism? | American Addiction Centers
- Al-Anon Family Groups
- Dr. Erin Margolis | Website
- What is Suicidal Ideation? | PsychHub
- How Do I Ask For Help If I’m Thinking About Suicide? (feat. Shani Tran) | Facing Suicide, PBS
- Why Shame and Guilt Are Functional For Mental Health | Positive Psychology
- Direct Action Ghost Mk II Tactical Backpack Multicam 31-Liter Capacity | Amazon
- The Bear | Hulu
- Incel | Wikipedia
- The Way I Talk (Rhotacism) | Ultra Violet 1197
- Tasha Eurich | The Surprising Truth About Insight | Jordan Harbinger
- Finding Your Angle in Covert Love Triangle | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
907: Sis Lives to Excess, and Dad’s Remembering Less | 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. Frankly, the only guy I know who can show up to a movie premiere in a green velvet suit and not be a total parody of himself, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Thank you.
[00:00:17] Jordan Harbinger: I'm actually surprised you even own a green velvet suit. Also, where do you go shopping and you're like, I want a green velvet suit?
[00:00:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Bro, Indochino.
[00:00:25] Jordan Harbinger: Indochino has green velvet suits?
[00:00:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, show sponsor. They have excellent green velvet suits.
[00:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: For leprechauns and movie premieres, I guess.
[00:00:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right.
[00:00:32] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know.
[00:00:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly right. My two aesthetics.
[00:00:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:00:35] 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.
[00:00:45] You got to learn how to say, they're always after me, Lucky Charms.
[00:00:51] Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from arms dealers, drug traffickers, Fortune 500 CEOs, rocket scientists, tech luminaries.
[00:01:05] This week, we had Gasim Mohamed for an Out of the Loop segment on the crisis in Sudan. A lot of people didn't even know there was a crisis in Sudan. It's like these two generals fighting. It's a civil war situation, really wild. Wagner is or was taken part of that. We really don't pay enough attention to Africa and what it means for the rest of the world. We also had my friend Shane Parrish on the show from The Knowledge Project on clear thinking and making good decisions. This guy is sharp, former Canadian intelligence agent, just a really good writer, really good thinker, and a really good podcast guest. So have a listen to those two episodes if you haven't done so yet.
[00:01:39] On Fridays, though, we share stories, take listener letters, and mercilessly roast Gabe for his lifestyle and/or unconventional fabric choices. Or we compliment him on them as the case may be.
[00:01:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is correct.
[00:01:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:01:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: And speaking of compliments, Jordan, you were on a billboard in Times Square a few weeks ago. A billboard, what?
[00:01:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. One of those digital billboards. And it was the whole side, well, the whole visible sort of side of the NASDAQ building. And that was awesome. And the reason I was on there—
[00:02:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: So you paid them a ton of money, yeah.
[00:02:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I found out people were like, "Whoa, how much does that cost?" I'm like, "I don't think you can buy this." They're like, "Yeah, you can. Here's a link." And it's like $40 for 30 seconds. And I was like, okay, well that makes it a little bit less special, but I didn't pay for it. PodcastOne, the network that my show was on, this show that you're listening to right now, it went public spitting off of its parent company, LiveOne. And so they put my show on there and they put the stock ticker on there, the stock symbol, the PodcastOne, the LiveOne symbol. So it was pretty cool because it's actually still up there rotating along with like a plumber who probably got an ad and other companies that go public on NASDAQ that have their little thing. It rotates for a few weeks. So yeah, as far as I know, it's still up there.
[00:02:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's awesome.
[00:02:45] Jordan Harbinger: And it's pretty cool because when you see it live, you're like, wow, there's my face on a billboard in Times Square.
[00:02:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Achievement unlocked.
[00:02:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was. And by the way, and I'll keep this super short, I know there's some like, I feel Von did a video about how he got screwed over by this guy from a company called Kast Media. And PodcastOne was going to hire that guy, and PodcastOne didn't hire that guy, and Theo Von decided not to join PodcastOne. I should probably talk about that in a future episode of Feedback Friday, just to do some housekeeping. I want to see what shakes out first, and also, I don't care about drama, but the people who've written me are concerned that I got ripped off by some guy named Colin. I didn't. I had nothing to do with that guy. I never worked with that guy. And it's not PodcastOne that had shows that got screwed. It's another company called Kast Media that PodcastOne is acquiring some of the shows from. And that wasn't clear in this viral video from Theo Von that got like millions of views. So yeah, this show is fine. I didn't get screwed. I get paid on time. PodcastOne didn't do anything wrong.
[00:03:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sounds a lot like a guy who's been on a billboard paid by the podcast network.
[00:03:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:03:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just got to say, you sound like a shill.
[00:03:50] Jordan Harbinger: This message has absolutely nothing to do with me standing next to both CEOs and NASDAQ with my face on a billboard. I'm a shill, but I'm not a shill for PodcastOne. I shill mattresses like every other podcaster—
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:04:02] Jordan Harbinger: —and meals you can cook at home for five dollars a serving that arrive fresh and tasty.
[00:04:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: And green velvet suits that are absurdly well priced.
[00:04:10] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. They're always after me, lucky charms.
[00:04:12] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 35-year-old woman with a twin sister. We were adopted from Korea as babies, and I love her more than I can describe. I'm super close with her and with my parents, who are divorced but still best friends. About a month ago, my dad dropped the bomb that he has dementia. That is heartbreaking, but he was also a workaholic and was forced to retire, which I'm glad he did because he won't be as stressed. My sister took after my dad and became a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist—
[00:04:46] That is a mouthful of a title.
[00:04:50] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:04:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: —at one of the best children's hospitals in the country. We are so proud of her. But, she's a raging alcoholic and has been for many years. She's a mean drunk and she's drunk almost every day. We can't even have family FaceTimes anymore without my sister slamming a bunch of beers, saying something really nasty, and then making the whole thing about herself. She's particularly nasty to my dad because she doesn't have the patience for him. When he keeps repeating himself, or gets anxious or confused, she yells at him. Last week, she actually ended up calling him a delusional, insert slur word for people with intellectual disabilities, here. That's a quote.
[00:05:28] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:05:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: My family, especially my dad, enabled her whole life. He doesn't want to talk to her about her drinking, and he doesn't want to tell her when she's being mean. He blames himself for her alcoholism. My parents divorced when we were six, and my mom started dating a man who sexually abused us for years. It was only when we were 10 or 11 and started showing classic red flag behaviors that somebody intervened. It took years for our family to heal and recover.
[00:05:55] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, wow, I was going to say that, there you go, right?
[00:05:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:05:58] Jordan Harbinger: There's this huge wound in both of your pasts, and it is heartbreaking, I just will never, I didn't want to chime in too soon, but I'm guessing this has a lot to do with her addiction, right?
[00:06:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think so. Yeah.
[00:06:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: So sad.
[00:06:11] She won't stop. She won't get help. She said a lot of it is to get back at mom and dad. I've offered to coordinate and pay for rehab, therapy, an inpatient clinic, an outpatient program, a 12-step program, but she just will not. I am at my wit's end. I feel like a failure. I failed my family.
[00:06:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:06:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: And now I'm watching my dad, my hero, decline while watching my sister not so slowly drink herself to death. It's like our whole lives revolve around her and her alcoholism now. It's starting to affect my own job because I'm so distraught and so sad for my dad that he has dementia. And that he's spending the little lucid time he has left in a state of such stress and sadness about my sister. She's causing so much pain to me and my parents, who gave us everything. But I also can't force my parents to take action, or force my sister to get help. I can't fix it for her. I've been seeing my therapist, whom I love, for years now, and she's definitely helping me be a better person and handle the grief and the emotions around my dad's diagnosis. But how do I help my sister? How do I get her to stop drinking? How can I make her see what she's doing to our family? How do I get her to be nicer to my parents, particularly my dad? And how can I help my dad not focus on her all the time? Signed, Going to Bat, and Maybe the Mat, for My Sister and Her Vicious Backchat.
[00:07:32] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh man, this is such a hard letter, this has got to be—
[00:07:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:07:35] Jordan Harbinger: —just devastating to watch. I can't imagine adopting two little girls, the kids you've always wanted and you love them more that anything, and one of them is like, "I'm going to kill myself in front of you slowly because I'm mad at you."
[00:07:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is just incredibly sad.
[00:07:48] Jordan Harbinger: It's sad in a way that's just almost impossible to put into words.
[00:07:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, your sister, your best friend, a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist. Talk about somebody who busted their ass in school. This is an incredibly impressive woman and she's a serious addict. And it's a little scary that she's that and also an alcoholic. I mean, does she drink at work?
[00:08:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, good point.
[00:08:06] Jordan Harbinger: That's really scary. I don't know how that works, but my heart goes out to her in a very big way because she suffered this abuse when she was younger. And for whatever reason, she just did not process and recover from it the way that you seem to have done. And she says that she drinks to get back at your parents. Maybe that's true, maybe not. Maybe she has tremendous anger towards them for the abuse and possibly other things that we don't know about, fairly or unfairly. But whatever it is, she's just in a lot of pain and the alcohol is her way of dealing with that pain.
[00:08:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: And when she drinks, all of that anger comes out and then she projects it onto you guys because it must be so unpleasant for her to deal with—
[00:08:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: —for her to sit with.
[00:08:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right, so they're the targets of her rage.
[00:08:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:08:48] Jordan Harbinger: God, it's just so, so sad. But look, you're stuck in a cycle that so many loved ones of addicts are stuck in, which is, "I know I can't make my sister stop drinking, but also how do I make her stop drinking?"
[00:09:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:09:01] Jordan Harbinger: And all jokes aside, that's a very normal cycle, right? Because you love this person a lot and admitting that she's powerless over her addiction right now and that you're powerless over her. That's also very painful. And there is tremendous grief in loving an addict, tremendous. And you know that, because you're talking about it in therapy, which I'm so glad that you're doing, by the way, but my sense is that you haven't fully come to terms with the reality of your sister's addiction.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which means accepting that she might always be this chaotic, right?
[00:09:30] Jordan Harbinger: Basically, yes. Until she decides she's ready to get help and try things in a new way. And that her path might end in a really tragic way, which it seems like almost she's doing deliberately at this point. I hope it doesn't end that way, but it might. I mean, she's trying to kill herself, right? Isn't that sort of the vibe of the letter?
[00:09:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It sounds like it. Yeah, but you know what's so hard about this is, I'm not sure if this family has fully tried to get their sister the help she needs. Mom and Dad are tiptoeing around their daughter because they feel guilty.
[00:10:00] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: They think that they caused her alcoholism, which, in an indirect way, they might have done, but that's clearly not the full story here, right?
[00:10:07] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I'm guessing that they're avoiding a proper intervention with her because it's terrifying, right? It's awkward, it's daunting, and in this family, it sounds like it's also quite emotionally dangerous.
[00:10:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they're scared of her. I mean—
[00:10:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:19] Jordan Harbinger: —she sounds like she really flies off the handle. I would be scared too. It's scary to confront a personality like this.
[00:10:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:27] Jordan Harbinger: She's vicious. She's mean, she's unstable, she has at least one very legitimate grievance against them, against mom anyway, for bringing this horrible man into their lives, which I'm sure their mom feels terrible about.
[00:10:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:10:39] Jordan Harbinger: And maybe that's also part of it. Because also, if someone's abusing your kids for five years, I don't know, man, either you knew about it and didn't do anything, or you should have known about it.
[00:10:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:10:50] Jordan Harbinger: That's judgy of me, maybe there's a scenario in which the person was really good at hiding it, I don't know, man. I'm sure their mom feels terrible about it either way. That might be why they give the sister a wide berth because they know they'd have to discuss that awful experience.
[00:11:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:11:04] Jordan Harbinger: And I think they're just like, "Yeah, I don't want to face any of that, so I'm just going to sit back and take the abuse and pretend this isn't as bad as it seems and that it's just an alcohol problem that kind of cropped up out of nowhere."
[00:11:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, man. Unfortunately, I think that read is very accurate, but until they face this, they might always feel like they didn't really give it one good shot with her.
[00:11:22] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because if they staged a serious intervention as a family where they said, "So here's the deal. You have a serious problem. You're going to tank your amazing career. You're going to kill yourself. You're breaking our hearts. You need help. We're going to help you get it. We can go right now." And she was like, "Yeah, no, I'm not going to rehab," just straight Amy Winehouse them.
[00:11:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:43] Jordan Harbinger: Then, this would all be super painful still, but at least they wouldn't wonder, "Hey, do we really give it a shot? Do we really try?"
[00:11:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. I do think her sister deserves that sincere attempt at getting her help. Although at this point, that intervention is going to be a lot harder.
[00:11:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because she's so far gone. Her addiction is so full blown and though, they deserve to know that they showed up for her in the way that they're supposed to as a family before giving up completely.
[00:12:06] Jordan Harbinger: That they made one real good faith effort to help her—
[00:12:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:12:09] Jordan Harbinger: —instead of like, "Oh, she died and we kind of, well, we probably should have, oh, well. could have, would have, should have, she's dead now." Like, that's the scenario they're facing.
[00:12:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, so that they don't have to carry around this additional layer of guilt that they might have sidestepped this whole mess and abandoned her in some sense. Although—
[00:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: —I say that while at the same time believing that her sister also needs to take responsibility for her own life.
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah.
[00:12:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is not all on them to save her, but if they love and support her, which they clearly do, then this is how they can help. This and obviously continuing to encourage her to seek out her own help, but who knows if she's going to listen.
[00:12:43] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Our friend here already did that.
[00:12:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:12:46] Jordan Harbinger: And the sister refused, so let's remember that.
[00:12:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:12:48] Jordan Harbinger: We're saying they didn't even try, and the sister's like, "Dude, I literally just wrote to you all the things that I tried to do."
[00:12:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, totally.
[00:12:52] Jordan Harbinger: The whole freaking family has to do it, not just like—
[00:12:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct.
[00:12:55] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, mom and dad are going to be like, "Well," and the sister's going to be like, "I will pay for you to go to the hospital," and the parents are like, "I don't know. Let's make muffins. Let's not talk about this anymore."
[00:13:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because of what you just said, I'm also very interested in the fact that she feels like a failure.
[00:13:09] Jordan Harbinger: Well, me too, right? Because, actually, I was surprised when she said that. You're a failure when you literally offered to pay for rehab, pay for therapy, outpatient programs, drive her there, get her help, duct tape her, throw her in the trunk. I mean, why are you the failure? That doesn't make sense to me.
[00:13:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: So there's obviously a huge part of her that feels responsible for her sister, responsible for her parents, and that's appropriate up to a point. You love somebody, you try to help them, but it's one thing to feel like you've failed, and it's another thing to feel like a failure.
[00:13:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, good distinction. There's some role or identity wrapped up in not being able to save her sister. I wonder if she's had to do this her whole life in other ways or something like that.
[00:13:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I would not be surprised. But yeah, there's almost like a hit to her if she can't make all of this better, despite all of her efforts. That is the piece I think she needs to look at.
[00:13:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I agree. But I think what you're really getting at, Gabe, is that as long as her sister refuses to accept their help, our friend here needs to take care of her side of the street. And I'm borrowing that language from Al-Anon, the support group for loved ones of addicts, which by the way, I strongly feel that our friend here needs to check that out. It's a great program. It's helped so many people, we recommend it all the time.
[00:14:18] I went to some meetings to see what it was all about, so I could recommend it on Feedback Friday. And I think this is essential for you right now. Maybe there's other groups that do this better. I know there's some shade on the whole 12-step thing, but it's certainly better than just trying to go it alone. Because what this program teaches, among other things, is that you are in recovery too. You're in recovery from your sister's chaos, which is ongoing. And because you can't change your sister, you need to figure out what to do with all this stuff that is yours — the guilt, the grief, the sadness, the anger, the sense of failure that you talk about. And you need to start making peace with the fact that this might be who your sister is, at least for now. Because that's ultimately the only part of this equation that you can control and that is actually your responsibility.
[00:15:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a really intense shift to make, but it's so important. That said though, I do think it might be worth talking to your parents about what you're noticing and inviting them to reconsider their stance with your sister. If your sister just will not be kinder to your parents, which it sounds like she won't as long as she's drinking. Then, they can decide whether they are going to tolerate it. And maybe you can help them see the ways in which they do enable her. The ways they tiptoe around her. The ways that they don't appropriately stand up to her. And you can encourage them to draw better boundaries. Maybe hold your sister to a higher standard. And if you'd like, you can try to help your dad see that he doesn't need to fixate on her every second of the day, especially when she treats him the way she does. But, again, that's their choice. You might never be a big fan of the way that they respond to your sister, and you will not be able to make your parents do anything.
[00:15:52] Jordan Harbinger: Which might be just as hard to accept as knowing you can't make your sister do anything.
[00:15:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Again, your boundaries might be the only thing that matters here, the only tool that works. Maybe you'll decide that you won't have family FaceTimes when it's obvious that your sister is drunk. Maybe you'll say that you won't engage with your sister when she's being nasty or she's being cruel. Maybe you'll even say, "Hey, look, I'll be in your life if you agree to go to rehab and start therapy. But if you won't, then there's really not a lot for us to talk about and I'm going to have to be a little distant.
[00:16:20] Jordan Harbinger: Or maybe she stops talking to her altogether until she can be kind and accept her help.
[00:16:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:16:24] Jordan Harbinger: At this point, that doesn't seem unreasonable to me. My mom had to do that. Her brother was a heroin addict and he was like stealing from my grandmother. And you couldn't reason with him, he was a bullsh*tter, he was an addict, he was a liar, he was a sketchy dude. And there wasn't like, any sort of good faith interaction with him, and then finally, my mom put him in jail for some fraud and he got clean. It was a whole thing. I mean, he relapsed and died, actually, unfortunately. But, you're not under any obligation to keep someone like this in your life, stirring up your life with chaos constantly.
[00:16:54] So, there you have it. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I really am. I know how painful this is, dealing with an addict in your family. It is uniquely devastating. As I just said, I watched my mom go through this. I believe, Gabe, your mom, do you have some similar thing in her?
[00:17:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Very similar. Yep, with her sister.
[00:17:11] Jordan Harbinger: We've seen this firsthand. We probably should have started the answer with that. We've both seen this firsthand. It's awful. It will never not be sad. But, this is your invitation to really give it one good shot with your sister and break your family's pattern of avoidance and enabling and take this opportunity to redefine the healthy boundary between you and your sister and work through the pieces of the story that are yours. Your sister has her recovery and frankly, now you have yours.
[00:17:39] My heart goes out to all of you guys, including your sister, but especially you, because you're in a very difficult spot here, and I hope your sister gets to a point where she can accept your help. Sadly, things might have to get pretty bad before that happens, but that's part of the process too. Go to Al-Anon or something similar, it'll be a game changer, seriously, and take care of yourself. We're sending you a big hug.
[00:18:01] You know what else is pretty mean and vicious, Gabriel? The amazing deals on the products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:18:11] This episode is also sponsored by FlyKitt. If you travel internationally a lot, well, congrats-freaking-lations, maybe you don't have little kids, but anyway, jet lag is your enemy, right? It used to steal days, even weeks from my life. Enter FlyKitt, the jet lag game changer. I first discovered it on a trip to Bhutan, ah, before kids when I could actually do stuff. The trip leader swore by it. And at first glance, it seemed like glorified vitamins and I was kind of pissed I actually asked for a refund. And then, I tried the app, and it's not hocus pocus, it's algorithm-based scheduling tailored to your trip details. It tells you when to eat, when to sleep, when to take the supplements, and it's like having a personal travel health assistant in your pocket. I've tested it on multiple time zone busting trips to and from Asia and beyond, and it works every single time. FlyKitt is rooted in Navy SEAL research and was initially designed for fighter pilots and athletes to combat inflammation that flying causes. FlyKitt uses AI because, of course, to time everything from light exposure to meals, all tailored to your specific travel itinerary. So if you're tired of losing precious days of your life to jet lag, you've got to check out FlyKitt. A few of you have tried it, you said it was amazing. I'm telling you. This is not just like placebo, oh I'm not tired. This is completely different than jet lag. It's like dealing with jet lag when you're a teenager. Like, you almost just don't even care. Everything is in one small, organized packet. The app walks you through every step of the way. Go to FlyKitt with two T's dot com. That's FlyKitt, F-L-Y-K-I-T-T.com to get a FlyKitt for 15 percent off with code JORDAN, FlyKitt again with two T's promo code JORDAN, FlyKitt with two T's dot com, promo code JORDAN. Try it out on your next trip. Let me know how it lands for you. I want to know what you think.
[00:19:52] This episode is also sponsored by SimpliSafe. Planning one last summer adventure, but worry about break-ins. It's the sort of thing you never think will happen to you until it does. Picture this, a burglar thinks you're an easy target because you're out of town. But boom, SimpliSafe's professional monitoring team catches them with your smart alarm indoor camera and shouts, "Hey, we see you and the police are en route." They will begin to verbally harass anyone who breaks into your house. And I'd bet dollars to donuts they'd rethink their life choices right there and then. And that's what makes SimpliSafe an absolute game changer in home security. It's not just recording footage for you to review later. Wondering what could have been done? No, no. SimpliSafe's monitoring agents are on it in real time ready to call out any would be burglars and send them running for the hills. Oh, and if disaster strikes like a flood or a fire while you're away, which is probably even more likely than a break in, SimpliSafe's Live Guard Protection can spot it in real time and send help instantly. No surprise they've bagged the Best Home Security of 2023 from US News and World Report.
[00:20:44] Jen Harbinger: Right now, our listeners get a special 20 percent off any SimpliSafe system when you sign up for FastProtect Monitoring. This huge offer is for a limited time only. So visit simplisafe.com/jordan. Again, that's simplisafe.com/jordan. There's no safe like SimpliSafe.
[00:20:59] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you for listening to and supporting the show. Your support of our sponsors really does keep the lights on around here and keeps our AI bot that sort of works sometimes for the sponsor codes working. You can find all the deals and discount codes on the jordanharbinger.com deals page. It's searchable, should be really easy to use, and I'd like you to try the AI chatbot. It's constantly being improved and updated, so please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:21:24] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:21:27] Okay, next up.
[00:21:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 24-year-old woman, and all things considered, things are going great with my life. I have a killer job that makes me good money, no totally insane family issues, and some friends—
[00:21:42] Quote-unquote, "friends," she wrote.
[00:21:44] —who care about me. As an aside, your podcast and class have had something to do with my success.
[00:21:49] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, great. I'm happy to hear that. Good on you for running with them.
[00:21:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Cool.
[00:21:53] In spite of all this, I found that my mental health is, historically speaking, shockingly bad.
[00:21:59] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:22:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: A psychiatrist diagnosed me with high-functioning depression and anxiety. They also told me that I'm bipolar, but I don't believe that.
[00:22:08] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:22:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interestingly enough, I found that the more depressed I got, the more highly I performed at work and school, which created a brutal cycle. I overworked myself and got so mentally unfit to take care of myself that I ended up spending some time in a psych ward against my will.
[00:22:24] Jordan Harbinger: Oh.
[00:22:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: My time at this hospital was the worst experience of my life. The staff treated me and other patients horribly and subjected us to treatments that are too graphic to include in this email.
[00:22:36] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man. Wow, that's super sad and kind of terrifying. I'm very sorry that happened to you. One has to wonder what kind of treatments are so graphic that can't be disclosed in an email on Feedback Friday. That's got to be pretty bad.
[00:22:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: It must have been very dark.
[00:22:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:22:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: The letter goes on.
[00:22:52] This experience was insanely scarring, and while you might make fun of me, I have symptoms of PTSD to this day as a result of what happened to me in there.
[00:23:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right, so I'm a little surprised that you thought we'd make fun of you for this.
[00:23:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, me too.
[00:23:07] Jordan Harbinger: Obviously, Gabe and I like to keep things light around here where we can, but we'd never make fun of somebody for being traumatized by a traumatizing experience like this. You went through something really heavy, and I can hear that it left a real mark.
[00:23:20] Carry on, Gabe. Let's come back to this detail later.
[00:23:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: The hospitalization also led to some consequences that I am truly embarrassed about, including failing background checks, not being able to buy a firearm, and having my civil liberties restricted. After I got out of the hospital, I started seeing a therapist to process what had happened. Unfortunately, he was a straight up narcissist, and shortly after I left him, I found out that he had his license revoked for essentially being terrible to his clients.
[00:23:47] Jordan Harbinger: Jeez.
[00:23:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know how much you guys preach the value of therapy, and I believe it works, but let's say an unnamed person desperately needs help. Their entire outlook on life is hopeless. This person's health has begun to deteriorate, they are plagued by intrusive thoughts of self harm every waking moment of the day, and they battle against suicidal ideation. They know that if they tell the therapist what is truly going on, they're going to end the session and send the client straight to the psych ward. What would you advise that person? How should this unnamed person respond when a therapist asks if they have thoughts of harming herself or others? Is there any way that someone can receive anonymous therapy so that they can work through their issues without the doctor knowing who they are or sending the police to intervene? How can this person get help without going back to another terrible hospital? Possibly by doing sessions with someone outside the United States. Signed, Keeping These Thoughts at Bay, Without Being Sent Away.
[00:24:46] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, well, this is quite a story. You've been through a lot here, and again, I'm so sorry that you've been struggling so much. It's just, that sounds horrible, and you're a very interesting person, right? Super driven, obviously, hard working, high functioning externally, but your mental health isn't great, and these awful experiences have made you afraid to ask for help, which I can certainly appreciate.
[00:25:09] We wanted to run all of this by an expert, so we reached out to Dr. Erin Margolis, clinical psychologist and friend of the show.
[00:25:16] Soundbite: I am also known to the people who know me the best as the f*king doctor. [Analyze This - Ben Sobel]
[00:25:22] Jordan Harbinger: And the first thing Dr. Margolis wanted you to know right off the bat was, yes, there are some therapists out there who will panic when a patient says the word suicide, especially if they're newer or they're working under their supervisor's license. And yes, all clinicians should take suicidal ideation seriously. If someone ignored a patient saying, "I don't want to be here," that would be a problem. But Dr. Margolis was very clear. Having intrusive thoughts, having suicidal thoughts, that is not grounds for involuntary hospitalization.
[00:25:51] In fact, she tells this to her clients all the time, those thoughts, they are a lot more normal than we think among the general population, especially if you are going through a period of extreme stress. In her experience, a good therapist, if you come into session and you say, "I'm having these difficult thoughts," they're going to want to assess you further, understand the thoughts better, help you identify their function, and hopefully address the root cause of those thoughts and work through them with you.
[00:26:19] So the thoughts are not as pervasive. They're not going to send you to a hospital straight away against your will. They almost certainly can't even do this without this additional assessment and some important information. The only way you're getting sent to the hospital against your will is if you are a danger to yourself, a danger to others, or gravely disabled, which means you cannot provide for your own basic needs.
[00:26:44] And there are factors that increase the risk of that. For example, if you have a plan to kill yourself, and you have means to execute that plan, those are the variables that will make a therapist go, "Okay, I need to intervene more strongly here." So, you should not avoid therapy out of fear of being hospitalized for suicidal ideation alone. Therapists, certainly the good ones, they don't want to just cart you off to a hospital unless there's a damn good reason. They want to be in a process with you to help you get better. Your difficult experiences with these earlier therapists, notwithstanding, I think that's obviously the problem here, like I understand why you're terrified.
[00:27:21] Now, about your time in that hospital, Dr. Margolis had a similar reaction to us. She found your story very upsetting, very scary, and sadly, she said these experiences are more common than they should be. To quote her here, it's heartbreaking that you were harmed by the very people who should have helped you. But again, talking about this with a therapist, it does not mean you're going to get schlepped back to that hospital, or to any hospital for that matter. However, this fear cannot stop you from getting the help that you deserve.
[00:27:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely not. Now, after Dr. Margolis clarified all of that, she zeroed in on a big theme in your letter that we all felt was very meaningful.
[00:27:59] So, first of all, there was that comment you made about how we might make fun of you for having symptoms of PTSD, the part that Jordan reacted to. And then there was the detail about being embarrassed by the consequences of the hospitalization, which is perfectly understandable. That must be really tough. I get it.
[00:28:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: But then there was that backstory about how the more depressed you got, the more highly you performed at work and at school, which created that brutal cycle that led to the hospital. And then there was that psychiatrist who diagnosed you with high-functioning depression, anxiety, and then bipolar disorder. But as you said, you don't believe the bipolar part. And then finally, there are all these lengths you want to go to get therapy in a way that keeps you anonymous, right? Keeps you protected. What Dr. Margolis picked up on in all of these parts of your story is a great deal of shame. Shame about being traumatized from the hospital, what people like Jordan and me might think about it. Obviously, you can tell we're not here to make fun of you whatsoever.
[00:28:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: But Dr. Margolis did wonder if maybe other people have ridiculed you for this. Or if you have some judgments about this trauma yourself, which, by the way, again, also extremely normal for trauma victims. Then, there's the shame about the after-effects of the hospitalization. Perhaps some shame around being depressed in the first place, which you coped with by working extremely hard to outrun or counteract that feeling to the point where you were so compromised you ended up being hospitalized. And finally, I wonder if there's some shame around the diagnoses that you've received. It sounds like you know the depression and anxiety are real, but the bipolar diagnosis just did not sit well with you.
[00:29:35] And look, maybe that psychiatrist was truly wrong about this. You might know yourself better. But given the other facts in your letter, I do wonder if you heard that diagnosis and went, "Yeah, no way. I can't be bipolar. I'm just, I'm going to choose to not believe that because it's too whatever. It's too difficult, too scary, too uncomfortable." So if you want to work on the bigger picture here, this feeling of shame would be a really great place to start because until you start embracing these aspects of yourself It's going to be really hard to make progress.
[00:30:06] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. Even the way she framed her question, like, what would you tell an unnamed person who needs help?
[00:30:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:30:11] Jordan Harbinger: It's like the age-old cliche of like, "Uh, so my friend, he wants to do this thing." And it's like, "It's my friend though. I don't know. I'll have to ask him what he wants." But I know she was being a little cheeky, but I also think she might've been trying to distance herself from her story a little bit. I mean, I understand that.
[00:30:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Like this isn't really me, this is somebody else.
[00:30:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right. She's hiding even from herself a little bit. I also find the bipolar diagnosis interesting. I'm just thinking about alongside that story about the other therapist she knew that she said he was a straight-up narcissist and later she found out he had his license revoked for essentially being terrible to his clients. I mean—
[00:30:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. She's had a lot of bad experiences.
[00:30:47] Jordan Harbinger: That's what I'm curious about. Look, it is totally possible that she has just had terrible luck.
[00:30:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:54] Jordan Harbinger: A psychiatrist who misdiagnosed her, a horrifying hospital, a narcissistic and unethical therapist. Obviously, there are bad clinicians out there, of course. I mean, this therapist had his frickin license revoked. I don't think they do that on a whim. I'm not discounting her story there. But it's also kind of an interesting theme, isn't it?
[00:31:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: That she's been mistreated or let down by so many professionals, you mean?
[00:31:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, people who presumably are trained and motivated to help her get better.
[00:31:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:31:21] Jordan Harbinger: So I'm just asking the question. She gets to decide the answer to this. Has she found these people to be unhelpful or offensive or overwhelming in part because she's resisting them?
[00:31:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:31:33] Jordan Harbinger: Because she might be struggling to accept what they're telling her or how they want to work with her. And again, the hospital, it sounds nightmarish. I mean, no staff should abuse patients at a hospital. I'm not saying, "Well, it wasn't as bad as you think. They were just trying to help you. Calm down." Although, also, we don't know exactly what went on there, the trauma is real, but if she was put on an involuntary hold, things might have been pretty severe. They must have been.
[00:31:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:31:54] Jordan Harbinger: So she might have been in quite a delicate state, and maybe that played a role there too. You know, I can imagine if you're in that state, it doesn't matter if the people are nice to you at the hospital. It seems like you're in prison, right? With prison guards telling you you can't leave. That would be horrifying in itself. What I'm saying is I just want to invite her to consider how she's engaging with these sources of support.
[00:32:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:14] Jordan Harbinger: Because that obviously determines a lot of her outcomes as well.
[00:32:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, right. Especially if the shame might make her want to hide even more.
[00:32:20] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. So, Dr. Margolis' general take here, you obviously need help, you deserve that help. She strongly recommends that anyone in your shoes find a good therapist and give it another shot. In her experience, if you were to address the trauma, the hopelessness, the shame, that could very well decrease the intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation, potentially dramatically.
[00:32:43] But you have to be willing to open up about that with the right person. Also, a good therapist could help you process the negative experience you had with your past therapist. It seems weird, it's like therapist inception. I need a therapist to help me with the crap that I went through with my last therapist. Obviously, that's a real thing, the guy probably was gaslighting her and turned out to be a total prick.
[00:33:02] As for getting anonymous therapy, Dr. Margolis said she's never heard of that, which actually surprised me, I thought that had to be a thing. The closest thing she said would be calling a hotline, but obviously, that is not therapy, that's crisis counseling, and you're not going to do the work you need to do with somebody who's on the phone with you as a volunteer for 20 minutes. And no, you can't do sessions with somebody outside the US, which also surprised me, by the way, outside of a few exceptions, that would be unethical both in the US and probably in the other country to provide therapy across state lines. Maybe they're certified like lawyers, the state by state.
[00:33:36] There's really no way around this. You need to work with somebody who's a good fit for you, who's safe, who's ready to step into this work with you. So when that person asks you if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, Dr. Margolis' take, just respond honestly. If what you're dealing with is just ideation, make it clear to your therapist that you don't really have any intention to act on these thoughts. They're just very present, and you want to understand them better. Any good, trained therapist will hear that and go, "Okay, these are just thoughts. I need to take care of this person and help her work through these thoughts, not just send her away to some horrible place."
[00:34:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, remember that you get to decide what you share with your therapist. We're not encouraging you to lie or withhold from them. Obviously, a therapist can't help you with something that you don't share. But Dr. Margolis did say that it's totally fair to hold off on sharing super vulnerable information with your therapist until you feel safer with them, until they know you better. You get to choose what you share. So, Dr. Margolis wanted us to share with you your autonomy, your self-determination, those are also very important parts of therapy.
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: So look, we've talked a lot about the shame piece, and I don't want to end this segment sounding like we're somehow shaming you for having shame. Actually, it's the opposite. We want you to understand that it's okay to feel this way. Everyone does to some degree, and you have to be willing to dig into this stuff in order to get better. Dr. Margolis got the sense that you don't always feel like you deserve to safely talk about these experiences with somebody, to have somebody hold space for them without compromising you. But you do! And there are people out there who can offer you genuine compassion, support, understanding, friends and professionals, so we sincerely hope you seek them out and open up.
[00:35:19] It can't be worse than what you are struggling with right now. There is a way forward here, so I hope you follow it, and I hope you find the right person very soon. Sending you a bunch of hugs, and we're wishing you all the best.
[00:35:30] And big thanks to Dr. Margolis for her wisdom and advice. Dr. Margolis is seeing patients in Los Angeles and virtually throughout California. Oh, there you have it with the state thing. You can learn more about her and her approach at drerinmargolis.com We'll link to that in the show notes.
[00:35:44] You can reach us at email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise, try to use a descriptive subject line. By the way, you guys are killing it with the descriptive subject lines. I love it, it's like three words, like, Annoying Narcissist Therapist. It's like, perfect, yes. That makes our job a whole lot easier. So hey, if you're finding dead squirrels in your mailbox, any dead rodent in your mailbox for that matter, your neighbors are eavesdropping on your therapy sessions through the wall, or your abusive parent won't stop stalking and harassing you, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:36:19] Okay, what's next?
[00:36:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my husband and I own a swanky, intimate wine bar. We are proud and protective of it, and it's our livelihood. Our cook for the last few years was a 30-ish guy named Seth. He was a solid, consistent employee and a nice person, albeit quite annoying and not too bright. Seth makes unhealthy life choices. He smokes cigarettes, ingests way too much THC. He eats terribly, doesn't do any activities or hobbies outside of work and weed, uses check cashing places for his paycheck. He is always sweaty, and looks generally not great.
[00:36:57] Jordan Harbinger: Gross. All right.
[00:36:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: He also complains about not being able to afford rent while spending more money on weed and alcohol than on what rent costs. He's single, lives with roommates, has no college debt, no car expenses, no kids, and sometimes his parents give him money.
[00:37:13] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So this guy is just a gross mess, poor dude. But yeah, I can see why this guy got on your nerves. This is not good energy in the workplace, even if he is a decent person. And nothing says swanky wine bar like Seth. Am I right?
[00:37:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: In the last year, Seth's job performance declined in several ways. Then, the schedule at his other job changed, so we were like, "Oh, darn. I guess we can't keep you on."
[00:37:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:37:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: We were relieved to have a break from his dumb choices and his smellscape of BO.
[00:37:43] I've never heard that word before.
[00:37:45] Jordan Harbinger: Pfft.
[00:37:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that paints a picture.
[00:37:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, really.
[00:37:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: We were relieved to have a break from his dumb choices and his smellscape of BO, cigarettes, and weed.
[00:37:53] Jordan Harbinger: Gross.
[00:37:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's the BO for me, dude, the other stuff, like—
[00:37:56] Jordan Harbinger: Weed, actually, you know, whatever I'm neutral on.
[00:37:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:37:59] Jordan Harbinger: Cigarettes and BO together with the weed?
[00:38:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm. Rough.
[00:38:02] Jordan Harbinger: Tasty. That's something I want on my jalapeno poppers or whatever they serve at swanky wine bars.
[00:38:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: I like that you think the swanky wine bar is serving jalapeno poppers.
[00:38:10] Jordan Harbinger: I just can't think of another appetizer.
[00:38:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's not Dave & Buster's. What are you talking?
[00:38:14] Jordan Harbinger: What would it be? Like an artichoke where you dip it in the aioli and then you got to use your teeth to pull the meat off. Did I ever tell you about the time where I ate the whole thing and the waitress was like, "Where's the rest of the artichoke?"
[00:38:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let's talk about it.
[00:38:26] Jordan Harbinger: I ordered an artichoke appetizer at not a swanky wine bar but something probably very similar to it. I was waiting for like Jen to show up or something like, or our friends. I remember being there alone. I'm like, "Oh, I'll have this artichoke." It's a baked artichoke. You dip it in the aioli and you use your teeth to scrape the meat off.
[00:38:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, you are correctly describing how to eat an artichoke.
[00:38:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but I didn't know that. Okay, so I just was like chewing the leaf and I was like, this is so gross and like fibrous and the waitress is like, "How is it?" And I was eating it. I was like, I don't know. It might be a little bit undercooked, but I'm not going to complain, like, whatever. My wife is almost on the way here. I've eaten like half this thing already. I'm just not going to say anything.
[00:39:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, man.
[00:39:05] Jordan Harbinger: And then the waitress came back and was like, "Wow. What—?
[00:39:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Where's the rest of the—?
[00:39:10] Jordan Harbinger: And she's like, "How was it?" with like this quizzical look, and I was like, "Honestly, it was a little bit rough." She's like, "Did you eat the whole thing?" And I was like, "Yeah, I ate all the leaves, and they were like, some of them were a little burned," and she's started like giggling and she's like, "You're really only supposed to eat the edge."
[00:39:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my god, dude.
[00:39:26] Jordan Harbinger: Basically, I ate something that, even an animal that eats plants like artichokes would be like, no thanks. And I chewed the whole thing.
[00:39:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: You're like an alien who came to eat and doesn't know how to eat.
[00:39:36] Jordan Harbinger: It's like a Dan Aykroyd sketch where I'm just chewing on the banana without peeling it. It was so gross.
[00:39:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that explains so much about that night we went to dinner at, where was that? South Beverly Grill. And we ordered the artichoke. You kept checking in with me. You're like, "This is how you do it, right?
[00:39:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm like, "Yeah, you're doing great, bud."
[00:39:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Keep focusing on the meat and ignore the leaves and you'll be okay.
[00:39:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, and you're probably like, why is he so scared of artichoke leaves? Because there's probably still some digesting in my gut somewhere even though it's been five years, ugh.
[00:40:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think they probably serve artichoke at this place. Not so much the jalapeno poppers, but whatever they're serving, you don't want Seth's smellscape mixing in with those.
[00:40:16] Jordan Harbinger: No chewing the burned and fibrous leaves of the artichoke is hard enough without BO cigarettes and weed smell on the thing itself.
[00:40:24] Okay. Continue.
[00:40:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: The day after his last shift, Seth came in to have a beer, even though he doesn't live very close and doesn't have a car. We were like, okay, interesting choice, but whatever. Then he came in the day after that, and he used the employee entrance both times. So we had to tell him he can't do that anymore. He did a few more employee privilege type things, so we again had to tell him, "Dude, you don't work here anymore."
[00:40:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:40:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: After several months, Seth still comes in six days a week. He's a pretty big guy, and he hunkers down at the bar and takes up two stools with all of his accoutrements, giant walking stick, huge backpack that has a hundred pouches and straps, and his big floppy hat.
[00:41:08] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, that really paints a picture that I can also smell, doesn't it? Like I said, I can just see and smell this guy. There's a dude just—
[00:41:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow.
[00:41:15] Jordan Harbinger: —lumping down with his crap.
[00:41:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's the walking stick in the huge backpack with a hundred pouches for me. I don't know about you.
[00:41:21] Jordan Harbinger: I can't explain why but there's something about those two accessories next to each other. That's just inherently annoying.
[00:41:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. Like what are you an adventure from the National Geographical Society in the 1800s? Like what you need all them pouches for, bro?
[00:41:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exploring Machu Picchu. What you got in that bag? The whole getup screams, "I'm just a little bit insane," but that's probably not the backpack's fault, it's who's carrying the backpack.
[00:41:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:41:46] Jordan Harbinger: But with the floppy hat and everything, it's like Paddington Bear plus Cheech and Chong crossed with Pig-Pen from the Peanuts vibes.
[00:41:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow. Yep. Nailed it. How did you put all of those together?
[00:41:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, Paddington Bear has that big floppy hat. That's all I remember, he's got that weird floppy hat.
[00:42:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Amazing. So the letter goes on.
[00:42:02] He interrupts conversations we're having with other customers or each other and is incredibly unself-aware. A few customers have made comments or pulled yikes type faces when they see him.
[00:42:13] Jordan Harbinger: Oh no.
[00:42:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, he still sends me links to Reddit posts all the time.
[00:42:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, okay, I do that. Is that really annoying? Sending Reddit links?
[00:42:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not at a Seth frequency. I think it's different.
[00:42:24] Jordan Harbinger: That just completed the picture. I mean, I love me some Reddit as you all know, but I totally know this guy. This is a sad, strange, pothead internet guy who's just probably profoundly lonely.
[00:42:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that's why he's coming into the bar six days a week, right?
[00:42:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Even though he doesn't live close by and he doesn't have a car. So these people are probably the closest thing he has to friends and he just does not want to go home.
[00:42:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, good point. It's really sad. It makes things even harder for our friend here, but we'll come back to that.
[00:42:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just received a letter from the county collections department that we have to garnish his wages due to unpaid bills. They don't know that he doesn't work for us anymore. How do we tell him to not come in every day? Signed, A Pissed Off Publican Trying to Decide Whether to Let This Dude Settle Up Again.
[00:43:09] Jordan Harbinger: Publican?
[00:43:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Publican.
[00:43:11] Jordan Harbinger: What's that?
[00:43:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like a pub owner.
[00:43:13] Jordan Harbinger: Oh. I was like, is that short for Republican? I don't remember her bringing up politics. Yeah. Okay. No, that makes sense now.
[00:43:18] Well, everything about this story confirms that you dodged a huge bullet when this guy left. This is not someone you want working for you if you can help it. And I want to be compassionate because Seth is obviously not good at life. He probably hasn't gotten the feedback he needs to understand how he comes across to other people.
[00:43:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:43:37] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, just look at how hard it is for you to tell him the truth. People have probably treated him this way his whole life because it's so awkward to tell somebody that they are this profoundly annoying and that they're this inept. And look where it's gotten him.
[00:43:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Kind of makes you wonder whether tiptoeing around somebody's issues is really the best way to serve them, right? There's some connection to the sister in question one here. I think it's interesting.
[00:44:01] Jordan Harbinger: For sure, but also it's not her responsibility to fix a 30-something-year-old man who used to work at her bar. So I get it.
[00:44:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:44:07] Jordan Harbinger: But here's the thing. This is your business. It's your livelihood. The moment a patron or an employee starts to compromise that business, then this does become your responsibility because it's not about giving them notes or whatever. It's about protecting this amazing establishment you've worked so hard on. And not letting a big mouth-blundering man-child with weird taste in fashion accessories hurt your ability to make a good living. It's already hard enough to run a restaurant for God's sake. I mean, this guy's taking up an extra seat at your bar, which is literally costing you money. He's interrupting your conversations. Customers are literally telling you this guy's a nuisance and making those yikes faces. And I can picture that face exactly, right? The eyebrows raised in the hole like, "Whoa, who is this guy?" Do you know how bad you have to be for people to make that face to another person that they don't know. They're just like, "Well, I know you agree with me that this guy, what is this guy doing here?"
[00:45:03] This is a no-brainer for me that he needs to go or at least he needs to be put on notice. So the next time he comes in or maybe you call him at the apartment he shares with four other people even though he doesn't have money for rent because he's ordering four gin and tonics at your bar six nights a week, I would pull him aside and I would say, this is going to be hard, but, "Look, Seth, you were a good employee while you were here. You were solid. You were consistent. You were nice. I'm glad you were part of our team. But now that you're a patron, you're not an employee, things are different. And I'm really sorry to say this to you, I really don't mean to hurt your feelings, but it's become very obvious that you're rubbing some of the other patrons the wrong way. I know you don't mean to, but it's hurting our business and it needs to stop." And you can give him a few examples, if it would help. Something tells me he might need some examples to understand what you are even talking about. Because self-awareness, not exactly Seth's strong suit here. Then, you either ban him from the bar, or you give him a chance to act right. And that's totally up to you, depends how nice you are.
[00:46:04] If this were my swanky wine bar, I'd probably tell this guy to kick rocks. I just, I can't deal with people like this. I'm just not "a floppy hat and backpack and BO cigarettes and weed" kind of guy.
[00:46:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. More of a walking stick guy, eh?
[00:46:16] Jordan Harbinger: You get one of those accessories, one. You don't get all three. And also you get one smell, okay? Maximum.
[00:46:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:46:23] Jordan Harbinger: Ideally, zero smells. Also, 17 side pouches per pack, maximum.
[00:46:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:46:28] Jordan Harbinger: I think we all are on that same page, right? Yeah. 17.
[00:46:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that's a good rule. That's a very fair principle.
[00:46:33] Jordan Harbinger: But if you want to be nice and give him a chance, you can. But if he pulls any of his stuff again, I don't know what other employee privilege stuff is, but he probably goes behind the bar to get himself another beer or whatever. Like, "I'll open it myself and then I'll just write it on the thing." If he does that again, you got to ban him. I mean, look, if he did this stuff as a patron and you didn't have this history with him, you would obviously say something right away, right? So, this shouldn't be any different, in my opinion.
[00:46:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, people like this tend to just attract more and more problems. I mean, just look at the notice you got to garnish his wages. He doesn't even work there anymore.
[00:47:05] And he's still causing you headaches. He might say the wrong thing to the wrong person one night. Suddenly, you're going to be dealing with the cops because a fight breaks out, or somebody he owes money to is going to follow him into the bar, and suddenly you'll have a scene on your hands. Or he'll barge through the kitchen doors to grab himself a spork, or whatever you guys use at your swanky wine bars.
[00:47:25] Jordan Harbinger: I doubt it's sporks, frankly. I know that much about swanky wine bars. No sporks.
[00:47:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Such an image of him grabbing a spork, I don't know why. But he'll do that. But you know, he's going to burst into the kitchen and he'll forget to say like, "Corner!" like those people in the bar.
[00:47:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:47:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Over and over again. Somebody's going to spill 200 bucks worth of drinks or whatever. You just don't want this frequency in your establishment.
[00:47:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, is that like a yoga energy vibe word? Frequency?
[00:47:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do you not agree that Seth has a frequency?
[00:47:48] Jordan Harbinger: Well, he's got an odor. I don't know about frequency. He's also a stoner. There's not going to be any bar fights. Frankly, I understand the annoyance. He doesn't work there. He's still causing headaches. We had a guy work in sales for something years ago. He closed one deal where they bought one ad spot after having like three meetings where he's like, "Let's meet for sushi. I'm going to drive all the way there," and I'm like, "Ugh, all right." And then to this day, I still get, "Hey, email@example.com," and it's like a newsletter for a bike company. And I'm like, this idiot came in here, subscribed to 500 different email lists. using his work address that he had for like three weeks.
[00:48:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my god.
[00:48:30] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm still unsubscribing from these freaking emails. The dude made me like a few hundred dollars in an ad spot that was supposed to be a test that like the never contacted the company and then just moved to Austin and was like, "Yeah, I'm trying to do this work remotely thing," and like never did any other work and never answered any calls and never set up anything.
[00:48:47] Ah, these kinds of people, yes, they can cause you headaches even when they're gone, they just lack awareness. Pig-Pen from the Peanuts, he doesn't know that there's a cloud around him. That's the whole thing, right? He's just a dirty guy, the cloud follows him. And this cloud is following Seth into your stinking wine bar.
[00:49:04] So I feel bad for Seth, I'm afraid he's got to go. He also needs to realize how he comes across for his own benefit. Time to step up as a business owner and protect your customers and your livelihood. Good luck.
[00:49:15] You know what Seth would probably love to store in one of those weird pockets on his backpack? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:49:27] This episode is sponsored in part by AG1. I want to tell you something that's been a game changer for me and Jen. Life gets busy. The last thing I want to stress about is whether I'm getting the right vegetables in my diet, nutrients, et cetera, especially when I'm traveling. That's where AG1 comes into play, this isn't just another supplement, it's like an all in one nutritional insurance for your body. Each scoop is packed with 75 vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and whole food source nutrients. I don't have time to ensure that I get all of that in my regular diet, I mean I'm not even frankly paying attention to my regular diet a lot of the time, I just eat green stuff when I can. First of all, the convenience is key. To build good habits, you need to lower the friction to get there. In the mornings, Jen and I each mix one scoop of AG1 in a glass of water. And boom, we've got our bases covered for the day. Secondly, it's not about what's in it, but what's not in it. No artificial nonsense, no sketchy additives. My friend founded this company. He's kind of a weirdo when it comes to everything being healthy. I mean, I guess that makes sense because it's supposed to be healthy. It's also not overly sweetened. Just that slight green flavor, but don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself. If you want to take ownership of your health, try AG1 and get a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free AG1 travel packs with your first purchase. Which begs the question, if it's a complete supplement in itself, why are they including a free year supply of vitamin D, huh? Riddle me that, guys. Go to drinkag1.com/jordan. That's drinkag1.com/jordan.
[00:50:41] This episode is also sponsored by BetterHelp. Do you ever know exactly what you should do for your well being, yet find that your thoughts are standing in your way? Therapy serves as a tool to pinpoint these internal conflicts and guide you towards a more cooperative relationship with yourself. This isn't a lie on the couch and tell me about your childhood kind of therapy. It's tailored for our fast paced, modern life. And BetterHelp connects you with certified therapists online, which means I guess you're laying on your own couch and telling them about your childhood, but okay. We're talking convenience and expertise at your fingertips, and it is 2023. Why limit your therapist choices to whoever's local? Go global. Find somebody who really resonates with you, that lives in a different time zone and has never seen the place where you grew up. Fill out a questionnaire, get matched. And boom, you're talking to a licensed professional in under 48 hours. Plus, it's more affordable than traditional therapy and financial aid is available. So don't put your mental health on the back burner. Make it a priority. I have used BetterHelp. It is a game changer. It's very easy to use. It's like having a personal mental gym, a place to flex those emotional muscles and gain the tools you need for a healthier, happier you and not piss off all your friends by venting your problems to them 24/7.
[00:51:44] Jen Harbinger: Make your brain your friend with BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:51:53] Jordan Harbinger: If you liked this episode of Feedback Friday and found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. All of the deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show are all in one searchable page, jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also ask the AI chatbot on the website as well, or email me, jordan@jordanharbinger.Com. If you're super lazy, I'll dig that dang code up for you. That's how important it is that you use those codes. Thank you for supporting those who support the show. It really does keep things going and makes it possible to continue creating these episodes week after week.
[00:52:24] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:52:28] Next up.
[00:52:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I have a coworker and friend who's an incel. He's looking for a relationship, but he keeps getting catfished, ghosted, and friendzoned.
[00:52:39] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:52:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: His heart is in the right place, but he's a loud talker, has a speech impediment, rhotacism specifically, which is difficulty pronouncing your R's, is overweight, isn't really attractive, but isn't hideous either. But he still has confidence. I try to mentor him, but he doesn't seem to take my advice. He's becoming obsessed with the idea of a relationship to the point that he feels he has to tell everybody his personal business. I don't know what to do anymore. What would you do to help someone like this? Signed, Coughing Up the Red Pill.
[00:53:10] Oh, sounds like they have another Seth on their hands.
[00:53:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I'm getting strong Seth vibes here. Although Seth seems like a nice guy, this guy might be worse than Seth—
[00:53:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:53:18] Jordan Harbinger: —because in a way this dude's got no swag. Seth at least had the backpack and the walking stick and the weird hat and you know that appeals—
[00:53:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:53:25] Jordan Harbinger: —to some demographic that's like, "Oh, this guy, he walks along highways. I like that.
[00:53:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. At least there's some mystique there, right? There's an intrigue.
[00:53:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he's a character. He's probably got all these crazy stories about times he's had to sleep in abandoned houses or something like that. And this guy, I don't know what his deal is.
[00:53:43] By the way, I don't know if everybody knows what incel is. Incel means involuntary celibate, which means these are guys that want relationships with women, but they can't make it happen because they're like low status, overweight, not good looking, no social skills. And it's not just that they're kind of sad with that. They're angry about that. That's like the trademark of the incel community is it's like women only want guys with money and steroid muscles because they're all terrible people, right? It's a whole thing.
[00:54:14] I actually have loads of thoughts on incels because I watched this movement basically pop up from the inside. A lot of people may not know this, I was sort of on the forefront of the dating coaching thing in 2006. And so, we're all these like, pick up artists and dating coaches, and we were trying to be the white hat to the black hat bad guys. And then, the incel movement was like guys who tried to do the pickup artist thing but realized like, "The dating skills thing won't work for me because I'm hopeless, and that means that women are terrible. Let's just be really terrible and negative." And they had these message boards and one of the guys famously murdered a bunch of people because he thought that they were getting the women he was supposed to have and then other sort of rage incidents. So I have loads of thoughts on this. I watched the movement get created and pop up over the span of a decade or so back in those days. So I got a really intimate peek at the whole movement.
[00:55:06] And the thing is a lot of these guys are decent people, right? I met guys that would be incels before the anger thing takes root and they really struggle socially. They feel disempowered. They feel unwanted. It's outside of their control and it leads them to weird ideas like this whole incel thing. It used to be that they were just like, "Yeah, I don't know what to do. I just don't think about it anymore. I just play video games." They kind of gave up. The incel thing was like, "Don't give up. Just get mad about the women who are not putting out, which you deserve. You're a king." And that was like a better thought than, "I'm just this pathetic guy who can't get a woman." It was like, "Oh, it's a conspiracy to keep me down." That's the scary thing about the incel movement.
[00:55:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. But you know, I find so strange about the incel movement is that. Guys like this are explicitly looking for a relationship, right?
[00:55:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:55:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: He really wants a girlfriend, but he's also an incel?
[00:55:58] Jordan Harbinger: That's one of the many contradictions of incel ideology, right? "I want women, but I also hate them and they're terrible and they're gross."
[00:56:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:56:06] Jordan Harbinger: "Women are superficial and manipulative, but I really want one to be my girlfriend. But she'll be different than all those other sluts," right? I mean, you'll see guys write messages like that.
[00:56:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:56:16] Jordan Harbinger: It's called the Madonna Whore Complex. "Women are either like my mother and sister, who are perfect and angelic and amazing, or they're just complete whores that don't even deserve to be spit on by a king like me." And it's like, okay.
[00:56:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:56:29] Jordan Harbinger: They're in a bind, and it just further entrenches them in this really troubling mindset, which leads to mental health issues or is the cause of them or intertwined with them. It's a whole thing.
[00:56:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: And so the worse the results, like with this guy, he's getting ghosted, he's getting friend zoned, he's getting catfished. I'm a little confused about the catfished part.
[00:56:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:56:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: That might be a different problem, but the worse the results, the more it seems to make them believe that women really are the problem.
[00:56:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right, okay, so the catfish thing, I won't go off on too much of a tangent. The reason this happens to a lot of these guys is they are so desperate. There's this whole narrative, like, "Oh, western women! They think they're equal to men, LOL, I'm going to go after a woman who lives in a country like Ukraine or Colombia where they know their place," right? That's the incel narrative. So then, they go on these dating sites which are just like 1000 percent scammy Russian mob dudes who are chatting and pretending to be the women in the pictures, who are paid models.
[00:57:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah. Interesting.
[00:57:20] Jordan Harbinger: Or some other variation of that scam, right? A woman who's in Colombia who wants to be your online girlfriend, but she's chatting with 20 dudes.
[00:57:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:57:28] Jordan Harbinger: And the first guy who's like, "Move up to Massachusetts with me in my home." She's like, "I'm in." And the other guys get cut off because that's the goal. She's just fishing.
[00:57:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:57:36] Jordan Harbinger: So that happens a lot because desperation makes you overlook things like, "Well, yeah, it's weird. I have to pay a $1.99 per minute to chat online with my girlfriend," but the website translates the messages from Ukrainian into English. So that's why we use it. It's like, no, you're being scammed by an organization. So it happens a lot. It's like being in any other sort of cult or having critical thinking faculties be shut down or shut off by the desperation. So that's the catfishing thing.
[00:58:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Go ahead.
[00:58:01] Jordan Harbinger: Ghosted and friend zone that sort of speaks for itself, right? "Oh, maybe I don't want to date a guy who like has all these issues now that I've gotten to know him for more than five minutes."
[00:58:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: But you know what else I think is going on, and I don't want to generalize too much here because look, all sorts of people can fall—
[00:58:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:58:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: —into this mindset, but in my experience, a lot of the guys who get kind of incel-y, they often struggle with relating to people, reading social cues like this guy, so he might also be falling for a lot of those catfishing scams at a higher rate because he doesn't understand people's intentions.
[00:58:28] Jordan Harbinger: That's true. I've also noticed that, and I'm going to be careful with this, there's a certain percentage of incel community guys that are on the autism spectrum, which is so annoying for other autistic people because they're like, "Look, I'm autistic and I'm not a total asshole who hates women and posts horrible—"
[00:58:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:58:43] Jordan Harbinger: Like murder fantasies about them online. So I actually feel bad because it's kind of like, "Why are you judging us by these guys? I'm autistic and I work at Apple as an engineer. Why are you looking at me like I'm one of them?" But that stuff can contribute to that, and a lot of it's undiagnosed. I remember meeting some of these guys and being like, "Oh, are you on the autism spectrum?" And they'd be like, "No." And I'm like looking at the other coaches, like, "Oh God, does he not know?" Because it's really clear cut that there's something here—
[00:59:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:59:09] Jordan Harbinger: —to the point where with certain autism is a spectrum, as you know, but like a lot of times they'll have trouble recognizing faces. I remember one guy just didn't remember me the next day and the next day.
[00:59:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:59:19] Jordan Harbinger: And he's like, "Oh, I recognize your voice." And I'm like, "I spent an hour with you yesterday." And it was almost like, it was like a strange disability. I was like, I was like, do you have face blindness? Like what is happening here? So there's a lot of that stuff and it's undiagnosed because their parents were like, "There's nothing wrong with my son." So they never get the help they need and they grow up and this thing and it all contributes to this.
[00:59:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:59:37] Jordan Harbinger: But look, this guy's striking out over and over. He's scream talking — like I'm doing right now — to everyone in the office about his dating life. He doesn't sound self-aware. He doesn't realize how he's coming across. So you can imagine this guy on a date with a woman or even a text exchange. Just like, well, I'm talking to an alien right now. So it's an interesting question, how to help somebody like this. And man, it's delicate because you want to help him, which is really nice of you, by the way, most people would not want to, I found it hard to help a lot of these guys as a coach and I was getting paid handsomely for doing it. But the things that he needs help with, man, they are so charged.
[01:00:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, like how do you tell somebody you work with, you know, "Hey bud, when you talk, you kind of scream, you got to lower your voice. Also, you need to go to a speech therapist and hit the gym." I mean, it's uncomfortable.
[01:00:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:00:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, it's hard to know how much of this he can actually control.
[01:00:29] Jordan Harbinger: It's probably a lot more than he thinks or even realizes is possible in terms of what he can control, but you're right, giving someone notes like this when they're not coming to you going, "Hey, I'm struggling. I can't figure out why. Can you help me?" They're just like, "Oh yeah, women, this woman that." I had a lot of clients like that back in the day.
[01:00:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's hard.
[01:00:46] Jordan Harbinger: "Oh, women, this women that. They're all shallow." I'm like, you are literally 200 pounds overweight and you have your butt crack hanging out.
[01:00:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:00:52] Jordan Harbinger: And you are very negative about everything. And you're like, It's not the women, man. You need to deserve what you want. And those guys were asking me for help, right?
[01:01:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:01:03] Jordan Harbinger: Imagine somebody who thinks like, "It's not me, it can't be me." So my take is I think you need to make sure that he's open and ready to hear this feedback before you give it to him. And the way I would do that is, the next time he complains to you about his dating life, maybe you say some version of, "Listen, man, I know how badly you want to find a girlfriend. You deserve that. And I'd love to help you make it happen. I also noticed that it's been a little hard for you. You're not getting the results you want. And when that happens, I think it's a good opportunity to take a step back and figure out what might be going on. See if you need to change your approach a little. Have you thought about that at all?" Kind of put it out there and see if he picks up on the subtext, which he might not.
[01:01:42] And if he's like, "These women are all the same. They just want to Chad to take them out to dinner. They can't handle a confident man who isn't six foot five and benches 350 pounds or whatever, these shallow hoes," then you'll know he's not ready to hear it yet. But if he's like, "Okay, what do you mean? You think I'm doing something wrong?" That's a good sign. That's an ideal sign. Because then you could say, "Yeah, sure. We all have stuff to work on when we're dating. Tell me what your interactions have been like. Where you seem to be hitting a wall?" And then you can slowly work up to sharing a couple of observations with him, which is not your job, by the way, but obviously, you're going to have to be very gentle with him. So he doesn't get too freaked out or resist you too much.
[01:02:18] If this were me, I would start with the less precarious habits, the loud talking, the over sharing, because those are concrete They're easier to work on.
[01:02:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:02:28] Jordan Harbinger: And then if he seems receptive and makes some progress, you could work up to the other stuff. Like with the guy who was 200 pounds overweight and his butt crack was hanging out all the time, I was like, "We need to get you some pants that fit and a belt because you're a built dude but these jeans, they're just not cooperating." I basically blamed the pants and I was like, "We need to get you some pants."
[01:02:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[01:02:46] Jordan Harbinger: And so we got him pants that fit and a belt. We're like, "Now your ass crack doesn't hang out." And he's like, "Oh, thank God, that was so annoying," and I'm like, uh, yeah, it was. We had to like freaking Febreze every seat you sat on because there was an ass print on it at the end of the day, and it was disgusting. People notice this stuff.
[01:03:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, those are things that this guy needs to work on aside from the dating stuff, just as a professional, and that's more appropriate for our friend here—
[01:03:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:03:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: —to give him advice about because it relates to the office that they share, and it might also help him take that feedback in at first.
[01:03:13] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It might be easier for him to hear some of this as a professional first, like, "Oh, in meetings, I speak too loudly. All right."
[01:03:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:03:20] Jordan Harbinger: "Maybe I should do that in my social interactions." Then he can connect the dots to his dating life later, or work on it in the office, see some good results, and then be more receptive to how he can apply it to other parts of his life. The speech impediment, being overweight, those are harder to address, but they're by no means impossible. I have so much compassion for anybody with a speech impediment or any kind of sort of difference, really. That's not his fault. But there are great speech therapists out there, there are resources for this. This is totally something he can work on. My mom was a speech therapist, so I have a lot of sympathy for kids who grow up with that, I mean, it's just relentless bullying, and it's over such BS, who gives a crap, right?
[01:03:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:58] Jordan Harbinger: As an adult, you're like, whatever. To be clear, I don't think this guy is failing just because he can't pronounce his R's very well. This probably just wouldn't be a big issue if he were a healthy, high-functioning guy. But it's just one more obstacle in the bundle of obstacles that this guy is not only creating for himself, but already has and built. And it might be nice to encourage him to seek out some coaching. Look, I can refer coaches as well. I know a couple of guys who are really good at this, but somebody has to be ready for that, right?
[01:04:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:26] Jordan Harbinger: Because your ego, you really have to set it aside and be like, "I'm hiring a social coach." That is not easy. It takes years for some people to realize this. And usually the worse off a person is, the more they're like, "I don't have anything to learn from one of those guys." I can't stress how easy it was to sell a group of Green Berets, my social and dating coaching back in the day because they're like, "We'd love training. We would love to do this." And these guys come in and they're like jack dudes with six packs who've been all over the world and speak three languages and are like in prime shape. And then some dude, the dude who's 200 pounds overweight with the jeans that don't fit and his ass crack hanging out, it takes like three years of cajoling because he's like, Well, I don't really need that," and the ego is a hell of a drug—
[01:05:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:05:09] Jordan Harbinger: —and a hell of a mask and it's something that most people don't want to admit that they need. He really needs to lead here. He might have to struggle for a while before he's ready to face some of this stuff. So be kind, be compassionate, be patient. This dude has a lot to work through. It's really, by the way, super generous of you to want to sort of mentor him, for lack of a better word here. You're a really good colleague. But he's on his own journey here, and he's not going to change until he's ready to change. Just like Seth, just like the sister from question one. Bit of a theme on today's episode. So good luck with it. Keep us posted.
[01:05:43] All right, next up.
[01:05:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I had to share with you how moved I was to hear Jase's story on your show a few weeks back.
[01:05:51] Okay, so for anyone who didn't hear that episode, our audio engineer Jase shared this absolutely amazing story on the show recently about this period in his life sometime back. He went through a really brutal breakup, he was dealing with epilepsy, and then he got to such a low point that he actually contemplated committing suicide. And then, he decided, "No, I have to go work on myself, I got to get to therapy, I got to have new experiences." And he completely turned his life around, which eventually led to him meeting his wife and working with Jordan and then with us, and so it was just a really wonderful story.
[01:06:23] That was a few weeks back.
[01:06:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, an amazing story. I always love this. Stuff I've never heard, I've known you guys for over a decade, and it's like, oh, I actually had no idea about any of that, so I'm actually glad you shared that with everyone, including me.
[01:06:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was episode 881, by the way, if you want to check it out.
[01:06:38] So the letter goes on, I found it so incredible that he had the bravery to share such a personal story when it would have been far easier to share the story anonymously or not at all. Since my early 20s, I've been carrying around a secret, something that none of my friends, whom I've known for decades, knew about me. Without going into detail, this secret sent me spiraling into so much shame and made me check myself mid-conversation whenever I was on the verge of saying too much. The healthy thing to do would have been to seek out therapy, but I wasn't ready to share my story even with a complete stranger who's trained to help. It was only last year that I finally spoke to a therapist who helped me work through what I was feeling. Talking about it then felt so much more raw than I expected. Looking back, I now realize that carrying the secret around all the time has had the unintended consequence of turning me into a Don Draper type character, totally guarded, and living in constant fear of being found out, judged, or pitied, and just how isolating that's been. So, last week, I finally told one of my friends all about what happened. Straight away, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And I could feel the relief from her too. She told me how she had been worried about me, and could tell that there was something not quite right, but had never known how to bring it up. She wished that I'd felt comfortable enough to tell her sooner, so that she could have provided some support. It's a small step, but I don't think I would have taken it had it not been for Jase's story. It made me realize that awful events don't have to define you. That owning your story can be so much more powerful. I thought about how sad it would be to live a life where my closest friends never get to see my true self. Because I'm so busy putting up barriers and trying to hide my real feelings. For me, Feedback Friday has been a place where your listeners are willing to share their stories and show their vulnerability. I imagine that a lot of those listeners are in my position. And the show family is a community where people can just be real with one another. The anonymity provides that extra security that makes people feel comfortable showing who they truly are, which, I think, answers your recent question about why Feedback Friday is so popular. Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate being part of the Feedback Friday community, and also share my huge respect and appreciation for Jase's courage, which has helped me to find some courage of my own. Signed, Changing My Frame, on This Unclaimed Shame.
[01:08:57] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah. What a letter. Huh?
[01:09:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[01:09:00] Jordan Harbinger: I'm, first of all, just really touched by this one. I know Jase was too, and it's a really special story that you've shared with us. So thank you so much for reaching out. It does mean a lot. I love hearing stuff like this. These emails always seem to come too on a day where I'm like, I'm annoyed by all these things and this is starting to feel like a job. And then someone's like, "Hey, just wanted to take five minutes and tell you how the show changed my life." And I'm like, wow, that's okay. Now, I really feel good about what I'm doing right now.
[01:09:23] I honestly don't know if I have a ton to add here. I think you said it all way better than I could. But everything you shared, it kind of captures what Gabe and I love so much about doing this show. We talk a decent amount about shame on Feedback Friday. We talked about it a lot today, especially, with the woman from question two, even Seth/incel Seth. Now, that I think about it, all the letters we took today actually deal in some way with shame.
[01:09:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:09:46] Jordan Harbinger: And we do that because it's such a universal feeling. And it's a very rich one. And it can be incredibly hard to talk about. But the beauty of shame, or I should say the beauty of acknowledging shame, is that, well, first of all, it's often a huge relief. In the short term, yeah, it can be really scary and unpleasant of course, but long term, it's usually very comforting and healing to acknowledge this.
[01:10:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:10:09] Jordan Harbinger: And also, opening up about shame is incredibly bonding. The things we're ashamed of, whether they're big things or small things, they're tender, they're very humanizing. So when you let someone in on something like this, it's an act of great vulnerability, and it has a way of bringing you closer to other people, inviting them to become closer to you. And that is really the gift of opening up about all this difficult stuff.
[01:10:35] And I find it so interesting that your friend was like, "Yeah, I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know how to ask." And then, she didn't make you feel bad about it, she just said that she wished you could have told her sooner so that she could have been there for you.
[01:10:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[01:10:45] Jordan Harbinger: That must have felt good, to say the least.
[01:10:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: What a great friend, huh?
[01:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: Seriously, keep that one close, I bet that was a really special conversation.
[01:10:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: When Jase said that we could share his story on the show, Jordan, I was like, "Are you sure?"
[01:10:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:10:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: "You want to talk about this?" And he was like, "Absolutely, I'm an open book, it's all good." And obviously, Jase has come a very long way, he's done a ton of work, but I would be nervous to talk about an experience like that myself. And that's just one of the many things I love about Jase. But it's also what I love about these stories. They have a way of giving us permission to do the same. Permission and sometimes inspiration, like in this case.
[01:11:15] I am so sorry you went through whatever you went through. It sounds very intense. But the fact that you decided to talk about it with a therapist and then with this friend, I think that is incredible. And to me, it's just a great reminder that owning our stories — I know it's like kind of cheesy and that phrase sounds a little, I don't know, it's a little trite, but really owning our stories is a real thing and it is very powerful.
[01:11:34] Jordan Harbinger: When she said that she thought about how sad it would be to live a life where her closest friends never got to see her true self because she was so busy hiding, not going to lie, tears starting to form in the corner of the eye. Because that is such a profound thing to realize.
[01:11:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:11:48] Jordan Harbinger: And for her to have the courage to take the leap and change that dynamic completely I'm just really proud of her for doing that. I know like that's not easy hiding is easier in the short term.
[01:11:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Jordan, have I ever told you my favorite quote by this guy, DW Winnicott?
[01:12:01] Jordan Harbinger: Winnicott, no I don't think so, but candidly, this is exactly the type of thing that somebody could tell me that would go in one ear and immediately out the other. Like, oh, your favorite quote by somebody I've never heard of? Do tell.
[01:12:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fair enough. Well, he was a psychologist, he was a really great psychologist and a writer, and he said this thing that I'm obsessed with. He said, "It's a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found."
[01:12:22] Jordan Harbinger: It's a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found.
[01:12:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, look, I got to hand it to him. That's pretty good.
[01:12:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: So there's a part of us that loves hiding. That loves being, you know, unknown and unknowable. And then there's another part of us that desperately wants to be known by other people, needs to be known by other people. And to never get to have that experience because you're hiding or because you're ashamed is kind of a tragedy. I mean, it's really one of the big reasons we're here, right?
[01:12:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's exactly what she's describing, right? The secrecy keeps you safe, but then you pay the Don Draper of Mad Men price. Was it? I didn't even finish that show, but I know he was hiding some dark secret, right? I left off when his brother came and he was like, "Take this money and never talk to me again." And the guy like, yeah, I don't want to ruin it. Well, I didn't even finish it. I can't ruin it. And the guy kills himself. And then I was like, this show is too slow for me. Uh, and that was probably midway through the scene.
[01:13:11] But anyway, if you open up about it with the right person, it's raw, it's scary, it's unpleasant, but then you're just not living with the secret anymore, and you're not as defended, and then you get to find out how much people are there for you. So yeah, I love that quote. That's awesome.
[01:13:24] So look, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You sound like a really awesome person, and I'm so glad our show could play a part in you opening up more and processing this experience. I'm sure a lot of people are taking in what you just shared with us. And I hope the woman from question two is still listening because I think she'd really benefit from this kind of courage, this honesty opening up about her difficult experiences, the way you did, who knows, maybe you'll inspire her the way Jason inspired you. And again, big thanks to Jason, everyone who listens and writes in every week.
[01:13:54] This letter is really about all of you guys, this amazing show family who we love and we're super grateful for. You guys really are the best. I'm going to take this into my weekend and open up to Gabe later about how dumb he makes me feel when he uses obscure words in foreign languages and quotes psychologists off the top of his head. I'm in a pit of shame, and it's your fault, Gabriel. That's it.
[01:14:15] So I hope you all enjoyed that. Don't forget to check out the episodes this week from Shane Parrish on clear thinking and decision making, and our Out of the Loop on the Sudan Crisis with Gasim Mohamed, if you haven't done so yet.
[01:14:25] The best things that have happened in my life and business have come through my network, the circle of people I know, like, and trust. I'm talking more about that in our Six-Minute Networking course. Yes, I know you don't work, you're retired. You have all the networking you could possibly have fine, but there's a happiness dividend to doing this right. These are the same systems I teach to large corporations, military and intelligence services. So even though you're already so good at networking, I think you can get something from this. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it. And it's free. It takes a few minutes. A lot of the people that you hear on the show, subscribe and contribute to the course. Dig the well before you get thirsty, folks, build relationships before you need them, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:15:02] Newsletter at jordanharbinger.com/news. We break up past episodes and spill the guts onto the table and write about it. A lot of people really loving that, jordanharbinger.com/news. Show notes and transcripts at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show all at jordanharbinger.com/deals or ask the AI chatbot. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Gabe's on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:15:31] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show.
[01:15:47] Dr. Margolis's input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those acquiring for guidance. Not that anybody in their right mind would necessarily come to that conclusion.
[01:16:02] But hey, remember we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:16:18] Here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:16:22] Tell me about the neighborhood where you grew up.
[01:16:24] Freeway Rick Ross: South Central, Los Angeles.
[01:16:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:16:26] Freeway Rick Ross: Well, most people play the game, um, Grand Theft Auto.
[01:16:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:16:29] Freeway Rick Ross: So I'm sitting on the porch, and I don't know what I'm going to do, and my partner calls me, and he's like, "Man, I got the new thing." And it was cocaine. Cocaine was really, really expensive then.
[01:16:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:16:39] Freeway Rick Ross: You know, a gram of cocaine back then was like $375.
[01:16:43] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, so it was dozens of times more expensive back then than it is now.
[01:16:47] Freeway Rick Ross: Like 300 times.
[01:16:48] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. And it's also the most expensive thing that you can fit in your hand that costs that much money probably. Maybe a watch.
[01:16:54] Freeway Rick Ross: Absolutely. At that time, they say cocaine was more expensive than gold.
[01:16:57] Jordan Harbinger: How much money are we talking about here?
[01:16:59] Freeway Rick Ross: I probably was making about $55,000 off of a kilo.
[01:17:04] Jordan Harbinger: I think you made up around a billion dollars in the 80s in LA. That's what I heard in the documentary.
[01:17:09] Freeway Rick Ross: For two years, I made like $600 million, not profit for me, but money that went through my hands. Before I started making a million every day, we're making 500 every day. Before we make a 500, we made 400. Before we make a 400, we made 200. Before we make 200, we made 100.
[01:17:25] Jordan Harbinger: So you scaled up to a million dollars a day?
[01:17:27] Freeway Rick Ross: Yeah, yeah. I had days that, that I went through three million dollars in one day.
[01:17:31] Jordan Harbinger: How are you even counting that much money?
[01:17:33] Freeway Rick Ross: Oh, we have money counters.
[01:17:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:17:34] Freeway Rick Ross: And you have a team of girls that sit there and they count money all day. You know, you have a house, and this house would have like a slot in the door. And people would just come in and drop duffel bags through the door. So I wanted to know, what was the difference between real business and the cocaine business?
[01:17:51] Jordan Harbinger: And what did you find?
[01:17:52] Freeway Rick Ross: There's none.
[01:17:54] Jordan Harbinger: For more of Freeway Rick's story as one of the biggest drug dealers of all time, including his ties to the CIA, check out episode 121 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:18:05] This episode is sponsored in part by Crime Salad, weird name for a show, but hey, you know, you do you. Hey, true crime aficionados, you've got to check out Ashley and Ricky, the dynamo duo behind the podcast Crime Salad. Now, this isn't your average spine tingler, they're on a mission to stop tragedies before they happen, diving deep into patterns of violence and domestic abuse. Wow, I started off way too cheerful on this read for where this is going. Ever hear of Jacque Waller, the 39-year-old mom of triplets who mysteriously vanished in Missouri? They dig into it. Or how about a mass killing spurred by, get this, a family grudge so twisted it's like a Hollywood script? They're on that one too. If any of these stories intrigue you, I recommend listening to Crime Salad on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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