Being ghosted in the aftermath of a bad date might momentarily sting the ego, but it seems a better alternative to having your name smeared on social media by a vindictive stalker spurned. What can you do to reclaim your good standing if the social media admins ignore your requests to remove libelous accusations leveled against you? We’ll try to find answers to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- When a bad-date-turned-libelous-stalker tarnishes your name online, how do you restore your reputation if admins keep ignoring your requests to remove the baseless slander that remains attached to a big picture of your face on their platform? [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us with yet another humdinger!]
- Should you prioritize staying in the town where you’ve established personal and professional roots, or make an effort to relocate so you can be near your daughter as she moves across the country with your ex?
- How do you maintain your own patience, empathy, and mental well-being while providing support for your difficult, negative grandmother who isn’t quite ready to accept an assisted-living situation?
- How should you handle inappropriate comments from a mentor/friend that triggered past trauma related to your father? Should you give this person another chance, or was immediately blocking and ghosting him really the best course of action?
- Should you honor your dying mother’s request to donate her body to science, or heed a local funeral director’s advice against it?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi 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!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Collective: Find out how many thousands of dollars you can save per year at collective.com
- Eight Sleep: Get $150 off at eightsleep.com/jordan
- Mill: Reserve your Mill membership today at mill.com/jordan
- BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan
- Please take our survey for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card at podcastone.study!
Did you miss our conversation with the most decorated American Winter Olympian of all time? Catch up with episode 783: Apolo Ohno | Embracing Change and Finding Purpose here!
Resources from This Episode:
- David Packouz | The Real-Life “War Dogs” Gun-Runner Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- David Packouz | The Real-Life “War Dogs” Gun-Runner Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- Five Legal Options if You Are Slandered on Facebook | Minc Law
- An Attorney’s Advice for Removing Negative, Defamatory and Infringing Material from the Internet, by Christine Rafin, Esq. | Reputation Communications
- Six Ways to Remove Damaging Content from Social Media | KJK
- What Happens When You Donate Your Body to Science | MIT Technology Review
- Frequently Asked Questions: Donated Body | UCLA Health
- What Happens to Your Body When It’s Donated to Science? | Healthline
- Death | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
840: Stalked and Defamed by Unstable Ex-Flame | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Collective for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:08] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the artisanal lemongrass chai connoisseur himself, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Still not a thing.
[00:00:19] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:00:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Still not a thing.
[00:00:20] Jordan Harbinger: Should be a thing. Sounds delicious.
[00:00:22] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:47] Now, if you're new to the show on Fridays, that's today, whatever day you might be listening. We give advice, we answer listener questions. And the rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had David Packouz, this guy, wow. Have you seen the movie War Dogs, Gabriel?
[00:01:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have, yeah.
[00:01:07] Jordan Harbinger: With Jonah Hill and that other guy whose name escapes me right now, but either way, they become arms dealers and they get like a $300 million contract to the US government. But the problem is the ammos from Albania and it's all this big shady thing. Well, this is the real guy—
[00:01:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:01:22] Jordan Harbinger: —from that movie who made the arms deals. Yeah.
[00:01:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Amazing.
[00:01:25] Jordan Harbinger: It's a story in half. It's a two-part interview. The guy's really entertaining, very smart, and I just found it to be completely fascinating. So make sure you've had a listen to everything that we created for you here this week. That is really quite an episode.
[00:01:39] All right. As always, some fun ones and some kooky ones. Let's dive in. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a single man in my early 40s and I went on a date with a woman late last year. The date was nice and ended with a quick kiss goodnight. A week later, we met for dinner and she invited me back to her place.
[00:01:58] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:01:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was excited because I was into her until we got to her apartment. Her place was disgusting and covered in filth, old food, clothes all over the floor, soda cans everywhere, and piles of stuff stacked to the ceiling. She was a very well-put-together professional woman on the outside, but her place made me scream internally and I knew instantly that I had to go. I made an excuse about being allergic to her cats and left after a few minutes. A couple of days later, I called her and broke it off. I told her I didn't see us being a good fit and that I was having a busy time at work. She seemed fine, and since we only had two dates, I thought it was no big deal. Then the texting started. She began sending me long love poems and sexual fantasies all day, every day. At first, I would send a smile emoji or a one-word response, but when her texting turned to how we are "meant to be together," quote-unquote, I stopped responding completely. I didn't block her because I wanted to be aware if they turned threatening, but I never responded. She then began showing up at restaurants and bars I liked, and even once sat across from me and stared at me while I was on another date.
[00:03:08] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. You know what? I just have one little comment here. If someone shows up to a bar or restaurant that you like and they don't know that you're going to be there and they catch you there a couple of times, imagine how many times they went there and you did not go there.
[00:03:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh.
[00:03:26] Jordan Harbinger: Dozens of times every night—
[00:03:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:03:28] Jordan Harbinger: —making the rotation.
[00:03:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Terrifying.
[00:03:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: All right. Well, this letter goes on and let's keep this music going.
[00:03:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Finally, a few months ago, I sent her a stern text saying, "Leave me alone. I am not interested," and she started sending vaguely threatening texts. A month later, she sent a text saying, "Good luck, finding another date," and then the texting stopped. Around this time, I did in fact notice my dating slowdown. I would usually go on one date a week, but suddenly women were unmatching me for no apparent reason. Shortly thereafter, my friend showed me an anonymous post on a private women-only Facebook group called, are We Dating The Same Guy in My City Name, with over 30,000 members. It had my pictures and implied that I was an abuser.
[00:04:10] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man.
[00:04:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: My stomach sank. I've never heard of a woman or been accused of anything like this. I knew it was my stalker because the post was from the same day she said, "Good luck finding another date." My world was spinning. I reached out to all the moderators of the Facebook group, even sharing screenshots from my stalker, but got no response. I filed several complaints with Facebook, but it's a closed group and you need a link to the post, or they won't help you. I finally got a link and reported it, and Facebook just sent me a "We got your complaint" notice with no way to follow up. I took the radical step of copywriting the photo she posted and filing a copyright infringement with Facebook. But again, all I got was an acknowledgment that I made a complaint and the post is still up. I worry daily about what this false public accusation will do to my reputation and worse what will happen if my family or work friends see it. How do I get someone to listen and help? Signed, Framed Defamed, But Unashamed Because I Didn't Do What This Person Claims.
[00:05:08] Jordan Harbinger: This is really insane.
[00:05:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Beyond disturbing, dude.
[00:05:11] Jordan Harbinger: So this is giving me strong Fatal Attraction vibes. You remember that movie?
[00:05:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. Yes.
[00:05:16] Jordan Harbinger: If he found his pet rabbit boiled in a pot on his stove, I would not be surprised. I'd be like, yeah—
[00:05:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:05:21] Jordan Harbinger: —textbook bunny boiler right there.
[00:05:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. We talk about squirrel and mailbox vibes on the show, but this is giving bunny and pot vibes.
[00:05:28] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. First of all, the hoarding thing alone.
[00:05:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:05:31] Jordan Harbinger: I know that that's mental illness related, so I don't want to be too big of a dick about it, but it is a little creepy. Most of us would say it's gross. Okay. Some people do this, they're not dangerous, they're not aggressive. I want to caveat this.
[00:05:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: There's plenty of hoarders that have just seemed really sweet even on that TV show about hoarders, but to then send him via text message pages of poetry and stalk him on dates and ruin his reputation, and otherwise, compromise his life.
[00:05:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:56] Jordan Harbinger: Especially the whole showing up to places that she knew he liked. Again, how many times did she do that? It must have been dozens/hundreds to catch him there a few times. Unless the guy goes out to the same places every night. So this is up there with some of the scariest relationship stories that we've gotten on the show, at least the ones that I remember.
[00:06:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely.
[00:06:13] Jordan Harbinger: The only other one that even comes close is the woman whose brother-in-law put a camera in her room and then was like, "If you sleep with me, I'll delete the footage." That's up there with this.
[00:06:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Why isn't that guy in this Facebook group? Why is this guy in that Facebook group?
[00:06:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that guy's not even in there because he's never dated anyone. Probably, he just sits at home with his hidden cameras.
[00:06:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: She could do that. She could put him in that Facebook group. Just saying
[00:06:32] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. No, that guy was marrying her sister.
[00:06:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's not even going to hurt him. Yeah, it's true.
[00:06:37] Jordan Harbinger: We're totally on a different show. So, oh God, I'm just so sorry this happened to you, man. I'm angry on your behalf I'm scared for you. Let's dig into this. So as per uge, I wanted to get a good handle on the legal options here because this is crime. So we reached out to defense attorney and friend of the show, Corbin Payne, and the first thing Corbin said was that unfortunately, he can't give you specific pointers about motivating Facebook to do the right thing, and neither can seemingly world governments who have problems with Facebook. So we can't really fault Corbin too much for that. But from what he's learned, they're pretty notorious for dragging their feet on this kind of stuff. Social media companies, in general, they probably get thousands of these legit and not-legit requests every single day. So they have this one-size-fits-all system that doesn't usually slash always serve people in your shoes very well, which is unfortunate, but kind of like the technology's getting ahead of itself.
[00:07:32] But Corbin said there are a few things that you can do locally. First, you can send this woman what's called a cease and desist letter. This would basically tell her to stop lying, take down the post, or else your lawyer can draft this. Here's the problem. They have no teeth whatsoever. I probably get a cease and desist letter every year for like, "Stop saying things about Scientology," and I just rip it up and throw it in the air and then dance around on the pieces because they're useless. I get stuff like this all the time. "You mentioned something that I don't like," cease and desist. It lines my cat's litter box so she can easily ignore it and keep doing what she's doing if she chooses to.
[00:08:08] Your other option is to bring a civil suit against this woman for defamation and that is toothier. Hopefully, you then get a judge to order her to stop defaming you and she takes down the defamatory posts and then she stops doing that, period. Depending on your state and county, Corbin said this might not be as expensive or as time-consuming as you might think, because lawsuits usually is kind of expensive, but this is your life.
[00:08:33] By the way, we actually did some light homework on this, and it seems that if you file a defamation lawsuit and/or obtain a court order, Facebook might remove the slanderous content. Now, we're going to link to a few websites that get into all that in the show notes so you can dig a little deeper. This makes sense, right? Because if Facebook, if they get a court order, they have to do it, and if there's a lawsuit filed, it's like, "Well, okay, maybe this is real, and not just two kids in middle school arguing about something."
[00:08:58] The third option, Corbin laid out, file for an order of protection or a restraining order, they're the same thing. The name varies across jurisdictions. We've advised many listeners with dangerous exes to do this. The process is really simple. The idea is to make it relatively easy and low cost for victims to protect themselves. It's not supposed to be like a revenue generator for the state. Corbin said you can get an order of protection based on stalking and harassment, and usually a judge will order the parties involved not to make any derogatory remarks about anyone at all. And if you do get one of these orders and she shows up again, you can call the police immediately and if they catch her, she should, in theory, be arrested right away.
[00:09:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I hope that's what happens, and that would be a very logical step. Now, Corbin did have a few general warnings and recommendations here. First off, he said you absolutely need to bring all of your screenshots of these posts and these messages, as well as any other documentation you might have, physical evidence. If this turns into a "he said, she said" situation, his feeling is that you're likely going to lose. Fortunately, it sounds to me like you have a good amount of documentation, so you're probably in a good position to make a good argument here. Corbin also said that these orders of protection and these abuse cases, they're kind of notorious for going one of two ways. In his opinion, either one party doesn't show up or everybody shows up and it's a nasty hearing, and rarely does he see something that falls in between. So his recommendation is to go into this, expecting this woman to throw as much crap at the wall as possible to see what sticks. It could get a little ugly, and since she's obviously very brazen and quite unhinged, she could easily pull all kinds of moves to try to defend herself.
[00:10:35] Jordan Harbinger: I'm just picturing Glenn Close in a cat sweater pointing at him in the courtroom and going, "He promised me happiness. He promised me forever."
[00:10:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. "They're not just soda cans. I'm a collector." Yeah. You know, that's how it's going to go down.
[00:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Finally, Corbin said that it's possible to do everything he's mentioned without an attorney, you know, pro se is the term, but—
[00:10:55] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: —he doesn't recommend it. A good lawyer can walk you through this process, put together a solid case from your evidence, make sure you're not walking into any landmines you don't know about. Corbin also wanted to note that something like this, ah, it's not going to be cheap, but in his opinion, it likely won't break the bank either. So his advice, look for an attorney with family law experience, abuse defense experience, or some combination of the two.
[00:11:18] Jordan Harbinger: So those are all your reasonable responsible options. But I got to tell you—
[00:11:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let's see what's about to happen. Yep, dark Jordan, right?
[00:11:26] Jordan Harbinger: Dark Jordan really wants to come out here.
[00:11:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let's hear it. What's he going to do?
[00:11:30] Jordan Harbinger: This woman has messed with your life in a serious way, and part of me just wants to mess with hers. Now—
[00:11:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh.
[00:11:36] Jordan Harbinger: —not always a great idea, but what if you wrote all this up in an email? And you sent it to her employer.
[00:11:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:43] Jordan Harbinger: Shouldn't they know they have a certified stalker/psycho in the building? I would just love to see what a well-put-together professional she is when she's having to explain to her boss why she tortured an innocent guy for respectfully breaking up with her because she's a loony tune.
[00:11:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:58] Jordan Harbinger: And you read about those people who post something racist or creepy on Twitter, and someone sends screenshots to their boss and they get fired. I always get a little uneasy about that because it gets into dicey territory. There's no due process, et cetera. But in this case, there's no shades of gray here for me. This woman is dangerous. And if she got fired, that would be a great way to even the score in theory.
[00:12:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could be, or it would just provoke her further.
[00:12:23] Jordan Harbinger: Right. That's always the risk. And this woman seems like a retaliated because she retaliated for something that wasn't even unreasonable.
[00:12:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: She retaliated for you doing a normal thing. So imagine when you get her fired what's going to happen. So you know what? Ask your lawyer about this. I'm guessing they're going to be smart until you do not do this because it could compromise your case. But maybe you get a dark Jordan-type attorney who's game and can tell you the safest way to do this, or at least how to use that, is leverage. Like, "Hey, if you leave my client alone and you remove the post, or you even post an update that you made it up, we won't send this to your employer." Now, there's ways to do that that are legal and there's ways to do that that our dicey, so your lawyer can guide you through that. And honestly, if I take off my dark Jordan hat again, it's probably better to sue and try to see it through to the end and then collect damages and/or get the post taken down or get an update posted. Then, you can try to get her fired afterwards if you still feel inclined towards revenge. You just got to be very careful and smart about it because it is a risk for sure.
[00:13:25] So I hope that gives you a few ways forward here, man. I'm really sorry this is happening to you. It's got to be truly awful. Corbin put it best when he said that our society is really grappling with the issue of abuse, stalking, assault, all that. This is a good thing. It's much needed and long overdue. And I understand that's why Facebook groups like this exist, but when you have unscrupulous or damaged people weaponizing the system against innocent people or when the moderators of these groups just aren't willing to be responsible and fair. You know, anybody who posts anything is right and anybody who tries to argue against them is victim-shaming. That's kind of where these mods tend to fall.
[00:14:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:04] Jordan Harbinger: That's a real problem and in my view, it's absolutely unjust. It's really not right. So I hope you make progress here and I hope this woman leaves you alone soon. It's going to be rocky for a while, but I have hope that you're going to get the post taken down, much like this woman needs to do to her stacks of LaCroix cans from 2019.
[00:14:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Those need to go ASAP. That's like a health hazard at that point. I mean, that place has got to be crawling with stuff.
[00:14:28] Jordan Harbinger: The old food cats plus cats plus filth is—
[00:14:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dangerous.
[00:14:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Like I also wouldn't want to get naked in an apartment like that.
[00:14:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also just had an idea, Jordan. You know, I don't know how common this kind of thing is. I have to imagine that something like this has happened to other people, and I don't know how you connect with those people, but maybe if he did a Goog and just looked, see if other stories like this are floating around Reddit or other forums and he connects with a few other guys who have been in this position and takes all of their stories to a journalist to do a story about what happens when these irresponsibly/loosely moderated Facebook groups don't do the right thing and ruin people's lives. That could be a very interesting story—
[00:15:08] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:15:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: —potentially. I don't know if somebody would be inclined to do a story if it were just one person. I mean, it's fascinating, but it's just one guy. But if there are like 12 or 15 or more guys who have been on the receiving end of this unjustly from somebody who's a little unhinged, it's actually a very interesting facet of the whole post-2017 conversation. Like what's the flip side to all of this, quote-unquote, "accountability." I could see a journalist being interested in that.
[00:15:32] Jordan Harbinger: I do too, actually. You hear about this happening with people who get divorced.
[00:15:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:36] Jordan Harbinger: I've got a buddy who's going through a divorce right now and he's a really involved dad and he like wants to homeschool his kid and he is a religious guy and he's off-kilter on a couple of areas. Like he's loves tattoos and he has really long hair and a grill and you know, he is just a really interesting guy. And his wife and him got along fine. And he was a really good parent. And like I said, he is a stay-at-home dad for the most part, works from home.
[00:15:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:59] Jordan Harbinger: And the wife works in an office now that they're getting divorced, suddenly she has concerns that he's tattooed and his hair's unkempt and he doesn't have a job. And you know, he lives in a trailer and he's like, "You lived in the same place as me for the first nine years of this child's life."
[00:16:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:16:17] Jordan Harbinger: "And I have gotten zero new tattoos since our divorce. My hair is the same as it's been since 2019." You know, it's like he has text messages where she's like, "You're such a good dad. I love that you stay home with him. You've created such a good home for us." And then months later, "Your home is dangerous."
[00:16:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:16:33] Jordan Harbinger: "You're a terrible father. Look at you." It's just like, you just see how people weaponize something and it's just not right. And it divorces are really acrimonious like this sometimes where somebody just will subpoena your records from your psychiatrist because they know there's dirt there because they were married to you. And they're like, oh, I want it to make him look crazy. It's just terrible.
[00:16:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's rough.
[00:16:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so there's definitely plenty of material for anybody who wanted to write about this, and I'm sure that it's not just with dating and relationships.
[00:17:02] You know who's not a creepy psychopath bunny boiler, Gabriel?
[00:17:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is it the amazing sponsor?
[00:17:07] Jordan Harbinger: The amazing sponsors that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:17:13] This episode is sponsored in part by Collective. Are you a freelancer or solo entrepreneur? Whether you're a consultant, writer, software developer, coach, photographer, content creator, graphic designer, we know that you're passionate about your work and the freedom that it brings. I mean, I get it. You love the flexibility and control that comes with being your own boss, but feel bogged down in administrative stuff like bookkeeping, payroll, compliance, paperwork, taxes. I love researching and prepping for interviews with fascinating people. That's the funnest part of my job. I don't enjoy all the back-office work that takes up a ton of time, takes valuable time away from creating great content for you all on this podcast. And collective.com is an all-in-one financial solution designed specifically for freelancers, contractors, self-employed entrepreneurs. You can actually save thousands of dollars in taxes this year, so listen closely. If you've already made money this year. But you don't have an S-Corp Election right now through June 30th, Collective can save you thousands of dollars on taxes in 2023 because they're able to backdate your S-Corp Election to January 1st. We did this last year, we elected to be an S-Corp. Tons of our entrepreneur friends have done that as well. Collective members save on average $10,000 per year on taxes with this structure. They'll even do the work of figuring out if an S-Corp Election is financially prudent for your business, so you don't do the wrong thing and do it backwards, which means Collective membership, well, it can't easily pay for itself. And then some Collective handles it all. You can focus on what you love from business formation, paperwork to taxes, bookkeeping, accounting, even payroll Collective takes care of everything. I wish I had this when I started my business. It's a perfect marriage of tech and human expertise. Collective's team of experts will guide you, help you maximize your tax savings, take away the burden of frankly, what is just busy work but you know, you kind of go to jail if you don't do it right. So just imagine. No more juggling multiple professionals like CPAs, bookkeepers, attorneys. Collective just handles all of it.
[00:19:00] Jen Harbinger: So again, act before June 30th to save potentially thousands of dollars in 2023 taxes. Go to collective.com to save on taxes this year and have someone who knows what they're doing handle your setup, accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes, even your personal taxes. That's collective.com.
[00:19:17] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Eight Sleep. We used to have this old foam mattress that would trap heat and make it all sticky and uncomfortable to sleep on, especially during summer. And by the way, if you're not sleeping well, most likely temperature is to blame. That's what it was for me. Science has shown that your body temperature actually needs to drop in the early and middle part of your sleep and rise in the morning so that you can fall asleep fast and get more deep sleep. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, getting a good night's sleep is essential. So several years ago, we upgraded to the Eight Sleep and it's been a game changer for our sleep quality. The Pod Cover by Eight Sleep fits on any mattress. It's like a fitted sheet. It can automatically adjust the temperature based on phases of your sleep and the environment that you're in. And it is dual zones. So Jen, she always wants it to be warm. I prefer it cool. It's super quiet. It doesn't have like a motor engine sound running. We don't even notice when it's on. The Pod is small. It only requires adding water every few months. The app works great. You can set schedules so the bed pre-cool or warms up the bed beforehand and it turns off when you wake up. The Pod even has sleep and health tracking, so you can wake up to a personalized sleep report for you each morning. That offers insights on how certain behaviors impact your sleep. Like if you had caffeine the night before. Free shipping, free returns, but you're not going to want to live without it once you tried it out.
[00:20:29] Jen Harbinger: Go to eightsleep.com/jordan for exclusive Memorial Day savings on the Pod Cover through June 6th. Stay cool this summer with Eight Sleep. Now shipping within the US, Canada, the UK, select countries in the EU and Australia, eightsleep.com/jordan.
[00:20:43] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps the lights on. Everything is over at jordanharbinger.com/deals, all the discount codes and ways to support the show. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well. Consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:21:00] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:21:03] Next up.
[00:21:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my ex-wife and I were married for 11 years, but have been divorced now for seven. We have an 11-year-old daughter whom we co-parent without too much issue. A couple of years ago, she moved to a neighboring state after getting remarried. I voiced my objections but didn't seek legal action since she has majority custody of our daughter so that she can claim her as a dependent. Since then, I've been making 12-hour round trips each month to go spend time with her. Then last month, my ex informed me that she, her new husband, their child, and our daughter, are planning on moving across the country later this year. That's five days drive away so that they can be closer to her family who are good people. My daughter is excited about this move. The issue is that they want me to move with them, and I don't want to leave where I am. For the last six years, I've built strong roots and relationships where I live. Moving all the way across the country would mean starting over while also getting farther away from my own family. But the other issue is that my ex-wife has a habit of moving every time life gets difficult. Since I've known her, she's barely lived in the same place longer than two years. Something we dealt with the entire time we were married. I believe she'll find a reason to move again in a few years, and I can't just keep following them across the country. Even though I plan on flying out there, as often as I can afford to having video calls, staying connected, I'm worried that I'm going to regret not being close to her and it will affect her in her teen years. Am I being selfish for wanting to stay where I am or should I be doing everything in my power to be near my daughter? Signed, A Dad Resigned to These Concerning Signs But Staying Entwined Across State Lines.
[00:22:50] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this is a tough situation. I do feel for you as a dad here. It's got to be so hard to watch your ex-wife take your daughter just further and further, farther and farther. Farther is when it's literal distance and further is when it's metaphorical distance. Is that the rule?
[00:23:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. That's it.
[00:23:05] Jordan Harbinger: Farther and farther away from you then. All right. For reasons that, as you pointed out, are maybe a little questionable. It sucks. It's a crappy situation all around, and I'm sure it makes you feel hurt and worried as well as powerless. So to answer your question right off the bat, no, I do not think you're being selfish for wanting to stay. You have a life too. You built your career, your community, where you live, you have a family of your own. Those are obviously important variables, but obviously, your daughter is a huge part of your life. And now, those legitimate needs are intention with her needs, and that's where it gets complicated. But complicating this whole thing even further is your wife's pattern of moving a lot. And this is, I guess what really grinds my gears, that she might be taking your daughter away from you because she's running away from something or seeking something.
[00:23:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:23:55] Jordan Harbinger: It's not like she got a great job across the country and her income's going to go up by 30 percent and her family's there and it's a huge one-time decision that's unprecedented and it's been hard to make. It really just sounds like this is her MO. She gets frustrated, she gets restless, whatever she's going through, the escapism kicks in and boom, she picks up and moves, hoping it's going to solve all of her problems. It's a very common fantasy.
[00:24:17] And Gabe, I don't know if you've ever had this, but I remember when I was younger, it was like, "When I go to college, this is all going to be, I'm not going to have to worry about this. When I'm an exchange student, I'm not going to have to worry about this. Well, when I go study abroad over here, I'm not going to have to worry about this." And I remember doing things like I'd have a girlfriend in everything in Ann Arbor, and I'd be like, I'm going to go to Israel for six months. And I'd be like, when I get there, I'm going to have a different girlfriend and she's not going to have any of these other issues that I'm having with my current girlfriend.
[00:24:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:43] Jordan Harbinger: Blah, blah, blah. And then, I would get there and be like, oh, I have to make all my friends over again. And it's just, the escapism thing was real. And it took me years to get over it. It's the whole, wherever you go, there you are. And I don't know why it took me half a decade or a decade to freaking internalize that. But your ex-wife hasn't quite internalized it yet. Look, if you're single or you're childless, fine make moves. Worst-case scenario, you realize it didn't solve your problems. You got some cool stories to tell. That's what happened to me. But when you and your daughter pay the price for her capriciousness, that's where it becomes unfair in my view. So from where I'm sitting, that's what's selfish, or at least partly selfish. Your ex might have some decent reasons to make the move, but she's definitely putting her interests above yours, and it sounds like she's putting her interests above your daughters as well, whereas you're just reacting to all of this.
[00:25:33] So of course, my advice is to have a real talk with your ex-wife. And in this talk, my agenda would be a few things. First, ask her questions. Try to understand her frame of mind. Why she thinks this move is the right call? Hold off on challenging her or trying to change her mind. Just listen and try to understand. Then, I would tell her what this move means for you, the position it's putting you in, how it's going to impact you emotionally, logistically, financially. Again, try to make this a conversation. Just share, invite her to appreciate what impact this is having on the other parent here if she can kind of wrap her mind around that. And after you do all that, then I would bring up the pattern of moving a lot. You got to be so careful here. Because if you say, "Look, this is your MO. Whenever you're miserable and you face some difficulty, you just move, you're just going to do this again in 18 months. This is so you."
[00:26:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not going to go well. Right.
[00:26:27] Jordan Harbinger: She's going to push back on that. Right. But if you can ask her some questions, invite her to connect the dots, she might be able to see this pattern in a new way. I don't have high hopes for that really, but it's worth a shot. She doesn't sound like a terrible person. I mean, she's inviting you to go with him. She's not like, suck it.
[00:26:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Totally.
[00:26:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:26:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:26:44] Jordan Harbinger: So she's not malicious. Although even if she does wrap her head around all this, she still might forge ahead with this move. "Oh, you're right. This is the last one, maybe. We're doing it anyway." Now, if that doesn't work, then I would be very direct and tell her what you were going through, how devastating this is, how emotionally and financially challenging it's going to be, and most importantly, how you think this is going to affect your daughter, her daughter, to have so little contact with her dad. I'm not saying you need to get manipulative here, but I do think you need to try to get her to understand in a very vivid way. The impact of this move on people other than herself.
[00:27:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree, but you know, between his ex's personality and the custody agreement they have, which sounds like it doesn't leave him much room for intervention, that could get messy even if it did, it sounds like mom might be taking her to this other state no matter what. That's just the sense I'm getting.
[00:27:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, look, I'm afraid of that too, and it really hurts.
[00:27:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:27:40] Jordan Harbinger: Just as a parent, if this happened to me, I would be really hurt. I'd be really angry. Here's the thing though, and we don't have the details of this custody agreement, I assume, but custody agreements usually state how far someone can move from one parent. Again, I have a front-row seat for my friend's divorce here, so he's like, she's not allowed to move more than a hundred miles and this is in one particular state, or whatever. It sounds in a way, like he waved the requirement initially that they stay close, but sort of casually agreeing to a distance greater than say, 50 miles. That doesn't mean she can just move 1,500 miles because he was okay.
[00:28:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:28:13] Jordan Harbinger: You know, if you're in LA and your significant other says, "Hey, I'm going to move from Pasadena, suburban LA down to San Diego." You're like, "Ugh. It's not ideal, but I can make the drive on the weekends. It's not a big deal. Nice town. She'll be in a better school, fine," but she can't go, "So I'm moving to Chicago and since you let us move to San Diego, you can't argue with me moving to Chicago." That's just not realistic, so—
[00:28:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:36] Jordan Harbinger: My advice is, have this conversation with your ex, and then two seconds after you hang up, call your lawyer and see what you can do, see what you're allowed to do, and have a copy of that custody agreement. Make sure you get that dusted off and take a look at what it says.
[00:28:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: His moves might be very limited, unfortunately, but definitely worth a shot. I also think that it's possible that this situation is just really terrible all around. And also the answer is that he should move across the country and follow his daughter. There's a world where that is—
[00:29:05] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: —super unfair and perhaps unnecessary. And yet, if his daughter is going to have her father in her life and he really wants to be involved, then he might have to follow her. And yeah, that means giving up his whole life, his community. He's built his career. I mean, it sucks, or it means you know, that he spends a year getting his ducks in a row and making this move. And in the meantime, they have to make it work somehow. So look, if you really can't do anything about this custody agreement, then you have a few options. And they're all tough, but they're tough in different ways.
[00:29:34] Option one, you let them move across the country in the short term or perhaps for the next chapter of her childhood. And you visit when you can, whenever you can, and you stay in touch remotely. Option two is you really fight in the way that Jordan just said to keep her close by, and you hire that lawyer and you do your best to intervene. But again, that could get ugly, it could get costly, and it's not clear if it's even going to work. And option three is you just let her go across the country with her mom, and you do your best, and I mean your best to stay close. You know, phone, FaceTime, flying out whenever you can, texting her all the time, and then you find ways to work through the distance and the sadness until circumstances change. Maybe you move out or she gets old enough to move closer to you again, or maybe you guys find a whole new arrangement.
[00:30:22] It hurts my heart a lot to say it, but based on the facts in this letter, this might just be a painful situation no matter what, unless you choose to go and move there. But then there will still be sacrifices. So here you are, and now you have to make the most of a really difficult situation as best you can.
[00:30:39] Jordan Harbinger: I do hope he gets through to his ex, Gabe.
[00:30:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Me too.
[00:30:41] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, really make her understand this because this woman is putting our friend here and their daughter in a truly sad situation that could leave lasting marks on both of them. And she might be thinking, "Well, this is what's best for us." But at the same time—
[00:30:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:54] Jordan Harbinger: How do you want your daughter to resent you moving away and then dad couldn't go? Eventually, the daughter's going to grow up and go, "Wait, we moved all the time because mom can't get her sh*t together."
[00:31:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:31:05] Jordan Harbinger: "And that's why I don't have a relationship with my dad that I had before." That's not going to work well for her either. And I think people like judges, family court officials, social workers, they understand this too. So—
[00:31:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: They do.
[00:31:17] Jordan Harbinger: If you got to play hardball, I didn't think of this before, but if the custody agreement allows her to do whatever she wants, maybe you challenge that custody agreement and you say, "Hey look, this is no longer working for me. I want 50 percent custody or some other arrangement," and now she has to go to court because of that. That sucks because it damages your relationship with your ex, which sounds like it's okay. So that wouldn't be my first move, but it would be my last move if it means that I can't see my daughter anymore very often. You got to do something about this.
[00:31:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: There is one silver lining here, which is that she wants him to move out with them. So—
[00:31:49] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:31:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a mixed picture. I can't quite tell how malicious or monstrous this woman really is because perhaps in her mind, she's doing this for great reasons.
[00:31:56] Jordan Harbinger: I think so.
[00:31:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: He listed a few of them and so she's saying, "Please come with us. I want us to be close," which is very touching, but it is putting him in a position to like have to make a huge sacrifice just to stay close to the child. He thought he would be close to anyway because he thought they would all be reasonable.
[00:32:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And then maybe do it again in two years.
[00:32:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:32:13] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, we're actually going to go to Albuquerque now because I got a different job. Or I'm dating a different guy or whatever, right? And his family's out there, who knows? So fight like crazy. Only if you need to love your daughter as much as you can. Make her feel that love. And man, we're wishing you guys all the best. Keep us posted.
[00:32:30] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you need a new perspective on life, love, work. How to figure out whether you attract the wrong partners? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:32:52] All right, what's next?
[00:32:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 27-year-old female and my grandmother is 79, widowed, and living alone. She deals with depression, anxiety, and chronic pain that require her to use both a walker and a wheelchair to get around.
[00:33:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:33:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: She's pretty much incapable of doing everyday tasks and relies heavily on my mom and me to take care of her. We do her grocery shopping, pick up her medications, take her to endless doctor's appointments, cook for her, and clean her house. The rest of our family lives three hours away, so they're unable to help the way we are.
[00:33:27] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. That is quite a thing to do for somebody.
[00:33:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:33:31] Jordan Harbinger: It's sweet, but man, that must be hard.
[00:33:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm happy to do this and I really don't mind running errands, driving her to appointments or helping her clean the house. I also enjoy drinking coffee and watching weekday soap operas with her while I work from home. The problem is she's difficult, negative, and mean. She constantly gossips, makes racist or sexist remarks, comments on my and other family members' weight, talks poorly about my mom and her partner, complains about all of her doctors, and maintains an overall miserable disposition. She's always resisted physical therapy or anything else to help her chronic pain, and she relies on a cocktail of pills to get through the day. I try to take her out for meals and shopping and stuff like that, but she ends up complaining about the food and acting unimpressed by anything we try to do.
[00:34:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so she's basically just miserable, poor woman. I do feel for her on some level, I mean, she sounds annoying as hell, but also there's a reason for that.
[00:34:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: For example, this past Sunday on Easter, she was irritable, complained about the food that my mom spent all day cooking, and told me that I looked so much prettier with longer hair.
[00:34:36] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:34:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: I even sent her your episode on chronic pain with Dr. Rachel Zoffness and bought her The Pain Management Workbook. She never used the book, and all she had to say about the episode was that she didn't like Jordan's voice. Sorry, Jordan, I think your voice is lovely.
[00:34:50] Jordan Harbinger: "Hey, how was that life-changing episode about chronic pain?" "Oh, that guy's voice is so irritating." "Yeah, but what'd you think of the content of the episode?"
[00:34:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Couldn't get past the chords.
[00:35:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Couldn't get past the introduction. What an obnoxious fella that guy is. Geez. You know what, grandma? I'm off your team. I was team grandma. I tried to help you, lady. Everybody loved Dr. Rachel Zoffness. I don't know what to tell you. Besides my voice is one of my only redeeming qualities. Why you got to be like that, grandma?
[00:35:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do you think she loved to review after that?
[00:35:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Jordan tried to help me feel better. One star.
[00:35:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: One star. Yeah. I love those two. Jordan, have you noticed we got a few of those last week? Like—
[00:35:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:35:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: This show is really good. I just don't know if I can do it. Four stars.
[00:35:29] Jordan Harbinger: There was the one that said, this is really well researched, well produced, and a lot of really interesting topics. Can't get into it. It was a negative review. Like, I don't know why I don't like it. Well, we don't either. Do we really need your opinion about that? Apparently, we did.
[00:35:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: People's opinions, so special. Okay.
[00:35:46] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: The letter continues.
[00:35:48] My grandmother has talked about going into assisted living but says that she's not quite ready yet. She has a small 10-year-old dog that she doesn't want to leave behind, and also doesn't like the idea of having to sell her house in order to pay for assisted living. I feel tired, resentful, and hopeless about what to do for her or her situation. She makes me feel anxious and on edge even when I'm not around her. I feel so bad for her and what she's going through, but then I have so much resentment toward her as well and find it difficult to be around her. I know my mom feels the same way. I think about her almost all day every day, and it's starting to affect my mood and relationships. What can I do for her? Is there a way for me to look at this situation that would make me less angry? How do I hang on to my dwindling patience and empathy? Signed, Throwing a Fit and Maybe Kind of Drafting Up the Obit Over Nana's Bullsh*t.
[00:36:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, you got icy there. This is another really tough question though, man. Being a caretaker to an older person, not an easy role.
[00:36:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:36:50] Jordan Harbinger: Even when the person in question is easy and loving and fun to be around and positive, which is not the case here. This is quite a responsibility you and your mom have taken on and everything you're dealing with — the anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, the dwindling empathy. Actually, it just sounds all very normal. I wouldn't have lasted as long as you have. I don't even know her if she made a dig about my voice and I'm already like, "Die alone." I'm sorry. That was terrible.
[00:37:15] Your grandma's a tough customer, and I'm sure that there are some good reasons why she is the way that she is. It sounds like she's had a hard life, or at least recently. It sounds like she's getting in her own way. Right? She's not trying to feel better. She just wants to take pills. She's being horrible. She's alienating the two people she needs most and she knows she's doing that probably. Or there's early onset dementia. I don't know how to say this delicately. She's kind of a witch.
[00:37:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:37:40] Jordan Harbinger: And that's on her. And the fact that you stuck it out this long without pushing her wheelchair down the stairs is amazing. Again, sorry that—
[00:37:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was dark in the sign-off, Jesus.
[00:37:50] Jordan Harbinger: I'm not saying you should do it or that you should do it while she's in it. I'm just saying I understand the impulse to start looking up rat poisons on Amazon. That's all I'm saying.
[00:38:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Again, very question one, relevant. Anyway, yeah, okay, killing grandma. What a way to kick off your answer. I appreciate it.
[00:38:06] Jordan Harbinger: I'm just, I'm a little worked up, Gabe. Our friend here—
[00:38:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can tell.
[00:38:09] Jordan Harbinger: She has sacrificed a lot to take care of this woman and she's just not getting anything back. I'm angry. It's not even my grandma. And again, look, I have empathy. I'm obviously making just cruel jokes for the sake of humor here, but it's just exhausting on top of exhausting. And then to have somebody be like, "You're fat and you look better with longer hair," it's like, you know what, grandma, come on.
[00:38:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, dude. I mean, this grandma, she's just like determined to be a retch kind of, and it's like, what do you do with somebody like that? They're just constitutionally miserable.
[00:38:38] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know, man. I'm kind of at a loss because this woman, she needs care.
[00:38:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: But she's objectively mistreating two extraordinarily kind people who are literally saving her life. She didn't get into the details on what this woman needs, but we're talking about like butt wiping and cleaning up stuff.
[00:38:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:38:54] Jordan Harbinger: People don't want to clean up their own stuff, let alone someone else's stuff. They're really going way above and beyond and they're doing it for free and she's all, I don't want to sell my house to have someone do this with you. I mean, it's so selfish.
[00:39:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:39:07] Jordan Harbinger: And look, we don't know if there's something else going on. Maybe her pain is so severe, she's in agony and can't think. Like I said, maybe there's some dementia at play or something, and I would want to be compassionate about that. But you know, I don't totally buy that. I think if you're a basically decent person in a lot of pain, you're still usually pretty decent. You're not mocking your granddaughter and gossiping about your own daughter and banging on about all the ethnics are taking over.
[00:39:34] So if this were my grandma, honestly, I'd be thinking nursing home. I know that's not an option for everyone, but it is an option for you guys. There are definitely nursing homes that allow pets, period. I'm damn sure you could find a place for her dog, which is a great idea, and make the whole transition easier. And I know she doesn't like the idea of having to sell her house to pay for assisted living. But I think that one, tough cookies. And two, is she really in a position to decide what she likes and doesn't like? Is that more important than finding a fair solution that keeps everybody sane?
[00:40:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good question.
[00:40:06] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know about that. It sounds to me like she could really use some more involved care. Especially, look, she's not willing to do physical therapy. She's not willing to take care of herself. This is going to free up you and your mom to A, live more of your lives and not suffer unnecessarily. And B — and I think this is possibly the most important point here — you can actually have a relationship with your grandma that is not poisoned by the kind of patient that she is.
[00:40:32] A quick aside here, I know we're running long. My mom took care of my grandparents.
[00:40:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:37] Jordan Harbinger: And towards the end, my grandpa was fine. My grandma was a nightmare. My mom at the end felt bad and I remember her crying all the time and she was like, "I just want her to die." And she didn't say it like that, but I know she felt like that.
[00:40:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:40:50] Jordan Harbinger: Because my grandma would dress her down all the time, tell the nursing home employees that my mom was abusing her, terrible, never visited. And then, after a while they were like, "Oh, we see you like twice a week. This is just BS." It took such emotional and mental toll on my mom, and I'm thinking, I wonder if my mom would remember her mother more fondly if she hadn't had the last five or 10 years of complete drama, nonsense, kookery.
[00:41:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:17] Jordan Harbinger: That she had to deal with the whole time. My grandma was in an assisted living facility. She was just really talented at driving everyone insane.
[00:41:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. That sounds intense.
[00:41:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was bad. I mean, my grandma was a little kooky. She told me about getting in fights when she was younger. This is a woman who's going to like speakeasies and getting in fights.
[00:41:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:41:36] Jordan Harbinger: What woman does that in 1940?
[00:41:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Amazing.
[00:41:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right? That's not, this is a trashy woman.
[00:41:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, look, dude, I'm with you. I think it would solve a lot of problems, but I do know in certain cultures or in certain families, putting somebody in a home, just not an option. And some older people really can't stand the thought of going into a nursing home. But these places exist for a reason and this woman probably needs that level of care. My only other piece of advice, whether you keep helping your grandma like this or if you find another arrangement, is I would really make sure that you have a way to process all of this stuff because this resentment that you feel is very intense and spending this much time around a person who is in severe pain, and I'm talking mostly about the mental pain, but even the physical pain, that is very hard. And like Jordan said, you're not being paid for this. This is not your profession and you haven't been trained to deal with patients who are this difficult, and that is a whole art and a science in and of itself.
[00:42:32] The fact that she's your grandma though, adds a layer of responsibility that complicates the picture even further. I'm guessing that stepping away from your duties and maybe leaving your mom to do more work might bring up a lot of guilt for you, which would also be something to look at. Because again, I find it very touching that you guys are taking care of your grandmother like this, but honestly, there's also a part of me that wonders whether this is really your burden to bear, at least to the degree that you are.
[00:42:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I had the same thought earlier, Gabe. This is really her mom's duty primarily. I think it's sweet that she's helping her mom, but I would even encourage the mom to consider whether this is the best way to care for her mother. See also what my mom did, right?
[00:43:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's also this thing you said in your letter that you think about your grandma almost all day every day, and it's starting to affect your mood, your relationships.
[00:43:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:43:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: That really stood out to me.
[00:43:18] Jordan Harbinger: That stood out to me in a way that it's sad, right? Grandma is living rent-free in her head 24/7. It's not just when she's over there, which means she never gets a break. Even when she's at home watching Netflix with her boyfriend, she's thinking, "Is my grandma okay? Is she going to be mad that we left early so that I could have dinner with my fiance?" I mean, that's awful.
[00:43:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: So that says a lot, and it says a lot not just about your grandmother and her personality and how much energy she sucks up, but also about how you relate to her and how the responsibility of taking care of her lives on in you, even when you are not physically with her. So I wonder, Jordan, if there are some fuzzy boundaries here, a little bit in this family and maybe some ambiguity about how they're supposed to care for people and maybe some really very difficult feelings like the guilt we just talked about, of course. But also the anger, you know, the confusion if you were to separate a little bit more and not think about her all the time. That is something you can work on. And I think it would bring you a lot of relief so that you can be there for your grandma when it's appropriate, when you're there, when you should be, and you can still have a happy life and functional relationships when you're done, which dude you deserve, and which is the only sustainable way to care for anybody.
[00:44:30] Jordan Harbinger: Well said, Gabe. There is a big piece here that is hers. And it's definitely about how she's processing everything. This very crochety hurtful old lady is bringing up for her. It's a fascinating opportunity for her to take a look at why this woman gets under her skin in the way that she does and how she can work through these feelings a little better so they don't get stuck and drag her down.
[00:44:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. But in the meantime, I would definitely talk to your mom about all of this and see how she's feeling about the arrangement and maybe share some of these ideas and see what she thinks, especially about long-term, what the right solution is for your grandma. At a minimum, I feel like you guys are probably feeling similar things and it would just be very nice for you guys to vent a little bit and to connect over it and make sure that you guys are helping each other get through this.
[00:45:16] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. If you can do all that, I think you'll find the patience and empathy that you're looking for. But there are definitely some moves here and I think it's time to at least consider them. Sending you and your mom a hug. And my latest hater, old grammy, one star, over here, I guess, she gets a hug too. Poor woman already had a tough life. Then, she has to listen to this voice box. My condolences, nana.
[00:45:37] You know what you're definitely going to want to take with you into the nursing home, Gabriel? The products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:45:47] This episode is sponsored in part by Mill Industries. It's 2023. Why are we still dealing with smelly routing, trash, and constant trips to the garbage, especially when there's an easier solution? And it's called Mill. And here's how it works. Mill is a modern-looking bin that turns uneaten food into food grounds by grinding, drying, shrinking, de-stinking it. We save loads of garbage space by putting kitchen scraps in the Mill instead of in our trash bin. It's super quiet. You can control it through an app from your bed if you need to at night. We've thrown things in for several weeks until it was full. You'd think that would be disgusting, but it's not. Then, we put the contents into a prepaid return box and Mill will work to turn the food grounds into food for chicken because feeding animals is actually the most effective use of uneaten food according to the EPA and the UN. A third of the food the US produces gets wasted. That is 54 million tons of food waste every year. That's a lot. All that food in a landfill generates methane, which is actually one of the biggest emissions offenders. You thought fossil fuels were bad, food waste is actually worse, and Mill helps keep kitchen scraps out of landfills. It has a positive impact on the environment. We throw in eggshells, orange peels, chicken bones, fish, all the leftover food. It all adds up quick. The Mill is hands down, the best addition to our kitchen as of late. Membership costs about a dollar a day and includes everything, the bin, food ground shipping, the app, regular impact reports so you can see how you're making a difference. Love this thing.
[00:47:09] Jen Harbinger: Mill is now shipping, but supplies are limited. Reserve your Mill membership today at mill.com/jordan. That's M-I-L-L.com/jordan to reserve your membership. Get Mill now and change your kitchen forever.
[00:47:23] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. In today's fast-paced world, it's common to feel overwhelmed by the demands and expectations of others. Look, you got your job, your family, your social circle. There's always somebody around you who needs something from you. And all that obligation leaves very little time and energy for self-care and reflection. When we get caught up in meeting the needs of others or pleasing others, or trying to put energy into other people's stuff, it's real easy to lose sight of our own needs and priorities, which can have serious consequences for your mental health. Therapy can give you the tools to find more balance in your life. You can keep supporting others without leaving yourself behind. I get letters all the time on how going to therapy is. It's the best thing I ever did. It's changed my life for the better. This is not exaggeration. Successful people, they see therapists. Terry Crews, most recently, on episode 830, just talks about how it's helped him. Better Help is a great way to get started on therapy. It's entirely online. It's designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Can't beat that. Just fill out a brief questionnaire. Get matched with a therapist. Switch therapists anytime for no additional charge.
[00:48:21] Jen Harbinger: Find more balance with Better Help. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:48:30] Jordan Harbinger: If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I do invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support one of our amazing sponsors or more than one for that matter. All the links, deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can always search for any sponsor using the AI on the website as well. Don't be like Gabriel and buy us a Christmas gift that didn't use the code even though they were a sponsor of the show. Go to jordanharbinger.com/deals and see what you might want for yourself or a loved one, or grandma. Thanks so much for supporting those who support the show other than Gabriel who didn't do that exact thing.
[00:49:09] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:49:13] All right, what's next?
[00:49:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I take care of gardens for a living and I've had a client in his '70s for the last three years who over time has become my friend. Two years ago, he offered to mentor me as he's owned his own business for many years. I accepted the offer since I've been struggling to own a business, and once or twice a month we'd get together for lunch and I would talk about issues I was having, such as lacking the courage to charge as much as I should, and he was good at giving pep talks. About a month ago, I mentioned over lunch that I was going to be going to Hawaii the following week with my husband. As I was leaving, he asked me to take pictures of myself in a bikini to send to him while I was away. His comment really unsettled me, but I just kind of laughed it off. The next day, my husband tested positive for COVID and we had to cancel our trip to Hawaii. I texted my client about canceling our trip and asked if he wanted to schedule garden maintenance for that week. His reply was that I shouldn't waste the tickets and that instead, I should go to Hawaii with him. His exact words were, "We'll behave, I promise, but we'll have a ball."
[00:50:20] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:50:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Followed by a winky face emoji and emojis of palm trees and bikinis.
[00:50:26] Jordan Harbinger: So cringe. My goodness.
[00:50:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was disgusted and outraged. So much so that I blocked his phone number and completely ghosted him, but I forgot to block him on Gmail, and two months later, I get an email from him saying something to the effect of, "If you were trying to hurt or punish me, you've succeeded. And I can't believe you throw away three years of friendship over a couple of comments I made in jest. I can't even remember exactly what I said. That day was the first time I had smoked weed since my stroke. Can we just please work this out?" I responded with a long email explaining that I had started to recognize a pattern in my life of older male mentors suddenly hitting on me. I explained that this wasn't the first time this had happened to me, that I seemed to be a magnet for this kind of thing. I thought I might have some serious daddy issues at the root of it all that my father used to get drunk and say inappropriate things to me as a teenager, and that we had an emotionally incestuous relationship. It's weird, but in some ways, I only felt alive when my dad was showing me attention or when I was being of service to him in some way. I lived to get praised by him and his praises most often were about how sexy I was—
[00:51:39] Jordan Harbinger: Ew.
[00:51:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: —quote, "Prettier than all my cousins," unquote, because of my hip-to-waist ratio, quote-unquote, "and my almond eyes." It got to the point where my mom would get jealous of how much attention my dad was showing me and take it out on me. So neither, parent was a safe place.
[00:51:56] Jordan Harbinger: What? Hold on, Gabe. I got to clarify here. First of all, that's really weird, dad, talking about kid hip to waist, that's, ugh, but hold on. Did she then email this guy, this client mentor, all of the family stuff in the email, or is she just filling us in on her life story?
[00:52:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm getting the sense that she actually included this in the email.
[00:52:17] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. That's interesting and key piece of information if that's the case, I think.
[00:52:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let's come back to that.
[00:52:22] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:52:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. Okay, so it goes on.
[00:52:25] In my 20s, my dad had an affair that gave him an STD scare. He asked me if he could borrow $200 to go to the doctor for testing because if he used his credit card, my mom would find out. I gave him the money because I've always been the keeper of all his secrets, and I was proud of that. It made me feel special, loved, and needed. By the way, he never paid me back the $200.
[00:52:50] Jordan Harbinger: I love that she included that and he stiffed me on the tab.
[00:52:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Anyway, I wrote all this stuff to my client as an explanation for — there you go. So she included this for sure in the letter.
[00:52:59] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah. Okay.
[00:53:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I wrote all this stuff to my client as an explanation for why his comments were so triggering to me and why I had to ghost him.
[00:53:06] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. So she definitely told him all that in the email. Wow. Okay.
[00:53:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: He wrote back apologizing and said, if he had known all that stuff, he would've been more careful about what came out of his mouth. He made it clear that he still wanted to be in my life and was wondering if we could start over. I don't really want to keep a friendship going with him, but I can't help feeling that maybe I was overly mean to him. But then there's a part of me that's still feeling repulsed and really angry at him. I'm just not sure this strong of an emotion is warranted. Am I being too harsh? Am I actually just angry with my dad? Should I have been offended enough to break off the relationship? What should I do? Signed, Feeling My Heart Hardened, But Wrestling With This Pardon While I Tend This Tricky Garden.
[00:53:53] Jordan Harbinger: Oh boy, okay. This story really grew legs, didn't it?
[00:53:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: It really did.
[00:53:58] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Such a fascinating situation.
[00:54:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Layers, layers to this story.
[00:54:02] Jordan Harbinger: Always the layers. She's getting into this very weird, unsettling dynamic with this older man who wants—
[00:54:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:54:07] Jordan Harbinger: —to mentor her, and then there are these huge wounds in her childhood, this very creepy and confusing template with dad, which she seems to see really clearly now, which I think is impressive. I'm guessing you went to therapy and learned a lot there. And man, Gabe, can you really hear her childhood echoing in her life now?
[00:54:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: You sure can. And not just in the relationship with this client, but she's also in such conflict about which feelings she should listen to and whether she even has the right to feel the way she does, which I think she does. Whether it's okay for her needs to take precedence over this creepy guy's needs. It's almost one-to-one, isn't it?
[00:54:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it really is. And it's interesting. I'm seeing a parallel between this question and the one we tackled last week from the woman who wanted to know if it was her fault that she kept ending up in abusive relationships.
[00:54:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
[00:54:54] Jordan Harbinger: And she was asking us, "Do I attract these people?" And this woman is saying, "I seemed to be a magnet for these kinds of creepy dudes."
[00:55:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:55:01] Jordan Harbinger: What's going on here?
[00:55:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: In both cases, we're talking about how unconscious dynamics and complicated patterns, they can lead you into situations again and again until you wonder, why am I here again?
[00:55:11] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It's the jigsaw puzzle metaphor that I screwed around with last week. So our friend here, she obviously sees her childhood clearly. She knows what happened with her dad. What I think she doesn't understand as well is the legacy of that childhood in terms of how it makes it hard for her to spot these dynamics early and learn how to protect herself or how to separate from it without being in so much drama or turmoil.
[00:55:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's exactly right. She has this pattern of older male mentors suddenly hitting on her and God knows she's not alone there, right.
[00:55:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:55:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is obviously something men, especially men of this guy's generation, or I think it's safe to say generally not as attuned to.
[00:55:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this dude is the Vietnam era, I think, right? He's not keeping up with hashtag MeToo and reading horror stories on Reddit about guys who make women uncomfortable. He missed the memo, I think.
[00:55:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Missed the memo completely. But he also sounds quite manipulative. I mean, she pulls back hard as she probably should. And he kind of, in my view, played the victim a little bit. Like, "If you were trying to hurt or punish me, you've succeeded."
[00:56:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah. "I can't believe you'd throw away three years of friendship over a little comment. I mean, I smoked a fat doobie for the first time since Obama left office. Wham, I'm the victim here." Like, dude, stop with the excuses.
[00:56:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:56:23] Jordan Harbinger: Either take the L or apologize and make this right. I'm hearing some, I guess it's narcissism in here.
[00:56:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: A little bit.
[00:56:31] Jordan Harbinger: Tone deafness at bare minimum.
[00:56:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure.
[00:56:33] Jordan Harbinger: Basically, I'm hearing a guy who's so much more concerned with his experience than her experience. Like, all I did was sexually harass you. Why are you going to make a big deal about it?
[00:56:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, who does that sound like?
[00:56:44] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:56:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, right?
[00:56:47] Jordan Harbinger: It's dad. For real though.
[00:56:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: That sound effect has never hit so hard.
[00:56:54] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:56:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like you said, it is again, pretty one-to-one, or at least look, there are shades of dad in here, I think. An older man, he's being wildly inappropriate with her, kind of trampling over her boundaries, appealing to her sense of loyalty and compassion after he does something not cool. He's creating a secret.
[00:57:14] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. That's wild. She was the keeper of all dad secrets.
[00:57:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:19] Jordan Harbinger: And she said she was proud of that. It made her feel special or something like that, right?
[00:57:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Made her feel loved. Made her feel needed. Yeah. And dude, that is powerful.
[00:57:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:57:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's very gratifying to a child, especially a certain kind of child. You know, one who might be a little precocious or iced out by mom and really needing to feel loved and needed and validated wherever you can get it. It makes sense.
[00:57:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's sad.
[00:57:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is really sad. And I realize that this is almost too textbook. I know it feels like a little neat, but sometimes this stuff really is this linear.
[00:57:48] Jordan Harbinger: So just to be clear, what we're saying is it might be hard for her to know how to handle this guy, how to feel about him, because in some sense he's recreating the dynamic she had with her dad, which was a little screwed up, right?
[00:58:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's possible. And by getting into this relationship with him into the messy territory with him, she might herself be reenacting that old material with him.
[00:58:10] Jordan Harbinger: And possibly, the other older mentors who have done kind of the same thing or something similar.
[00:58:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, look, we don't know for sure, but it's possible. And these are situations, look where she's getting attention, she's getting validation. And also to be fair, maybe some genuine support that she really needs. Look, she really wanted a mentor. I get that. But these relationships are then also coming with these messy boundaries and these minor violations and this kind of like inappropriate, vaguely icky, "Are we friends? Are we mentors? Are we more kind of thing?" I get the sense that that's hard for her to maybe even clock those situations as inappropriate.
[00:58:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:58:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because her internal barometer for what's okay and what's not okay might be quite miscalibrated. And if she could clock it, it might still be very scary for her to say to somebody, "Hey, listen, I'm happy that we're friends. Thank you for helping me out with my business, but I'm not feeling totally clear or comfortable with what's happening here. And I would just like to have a moment to talk to you about it and define this a little bit better, and just get clear on what our relationship is actually about so that we can have the client/mentor-mentee relationship that I would really like.
[00:59:18] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because as we just saw, it might come with this unconscious cost of, "Am I hurting this person? Am I the bad guy for drying a line?"
[00:59:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:59:27] Jordan Harbinger: "Am I losing someone important by sticking up for myself?" This is the residue of this complicated childhood, in my opinion.
[00:59:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's exactly right. That's the echo. So to answer your question, what are you supposed to do about all this? I think let's start by acknowledging that this guy crossed a line. He wanted something from your relationship that you didn't. He expressed it in a kind of cagey, cutesy way, but it was quite brazen. And when you got angry and you told him why it didn't sit well with you, he didn't really apologize and he didn't take the time to repair things with you. He just kind of jumped straight to, "Well, I still want to be in your life. Can we start over?" So your anger and your repulsion and this sense of real betrayal, I think are entirely normal. They're appropriate. And maybe, let's just start by acknowledging that it is okay to feel those things about another person.
[01:00:14] Jordan Harbinger: The anger piece is especially interesting, Gabe, because she's asking, "Am I actually angry with my dad?" Like through this client.
[01:00:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:00:21] Jordan Harbinger: And I think in a way, yeah, she's angry at her dad in the sense that she might be locating her father and all these different men who cross a line with her.
[01:00:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:00:29] Jordan Harbinger: But that doesn't mean she's not also legitimately angry at this guy.
[01:00:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, absolutely. And I also wonder if she might be a little angry at herself.
[01:00:37] Jordan Harbinger: For what? Not drawing a line sooner or keeping the boundary.
[01:00:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: For not drawing a line sooner maybe. I'm assuming she saw some signals that there was something else going on here potentially, and she didn't maybe take a moment to clarify early on, like we just talked about, but also angry at herself now for being so confused about whether she's allowed to be angry. Like she said, "I'm just not sure that this strong of an emotion is warranted," so telling.
[01:01:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Like, "Why is it so freaking hard for me to just feel my feels? Why am I tied up in knots about this? He's the creep."
[01:01:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:01:07] Jordan Harbinger: "But then, maybe I'm overly sensitive and I'm being a jerk about this."
[01:01:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. So are you being too harsh? No. If this guy is not a safe person for you, if it doesn't feel like a fair relationship, then it's okay to pull back or end the relationship. Which by the way, you did, you just forgot to block him on Gmail and he came in through the back door. But the value in appreciating some new facets of your anger is knowing how much of that anger is appropriately directed towards this guy, how much is appropriately directed at dad, and how much might be directed toward yourself. And to be clear, I'm not advising you to be harsh to yourself. I would actually suggest the opposite. Having more curiosity, more compassion for why you responded so strongly to this guy and to this situation.
[01:01:51] Jordan Harbinger: And also why she shared all that stuff with him in the email. I just still think that's really interesting.
[01:01:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is.
[01:01:56] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, look, maybe she just really wanted this guy to know why he upset her so much. I get it. But there's a world where she could have said, "Look, I'm hurt. I'm disappointed by what you said. I don't think it's appropriate for us to continue this relationship. Sorry, but I'm pulling back. Goodbye." Totally fair. And yet—
[01:02:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: But the over-explaining.
[01:02:15] Jordan Harbinger: That might speak to the part of her that again, just doesn't feel very secure saying, "Hey, this is not okay."
[01:02:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:02:21] Jordan Harbinger: "You did something wrong. I'm out." And then not feeling the need to justify it so much. Like, "Here's the thing, I have this childhood pattern and so it really da, da, da." Like none of his business. And also you can be mad at a guy without being like, here's the whole reason why. No, you did a jerky thing. The end.
[01:02:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, what you're getting at now is I think that there are maybe some hints of a trauma response in there somewhere. Just being so careful to manage the other person's experience, kind of overexplaining over justifying, not knowing always which audience to bring something to. But you know, Jordan, that might also speak to the part of her that really wants to be understood, you know, respected even if it's by the wrong person.
[01:03:00] Jordan Harbinger: I can see that. Like, "Hey, this is my past, this is my trauma, this is real stuff I'm dealing with, and you just activated it and I don't like it."
[01:03:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe that email to this guy was also for her to articulate this wound so she can understand it better. So that really brings me to my final thought for you, and it will not be a surprise, but I think there's still a lot more for you to understand about your childhood and hopefully, heal about your childhood, especially how it keeps popping up in these relationships now. And ideally, you do that in therapy. It sounds like you were there in the past. If you're not anymore, I would get there again. And this story with this latest guy, I know it was really difficult, but what an interesting, productive thing to bring into session. I know that if you can dig into the stuff we just touched on today, and there's so much here, I know that you can heal the stuff that might be unconsciously leading you into these dicey situations. And also all the stuff that makes it really hard sometimes to know what to do with these people, how to handle these conversations when they arise.
[01:04:00] Jordan Harbinger: Amen. Gabe. I know she can do it as well. So hey, look, I hope that gives you some new angles here. Some stuff to explore. I really admire your openness and your curiosity about all this. The more you bring this stuff to light, the more you get in touch with all these conflicts in your life now, the more you can rewrite this stuff. It ain't easy, it ain't always fun, but it's absolutely doable and I think it's really important. So we're sending you a big hug, not a creepy one, just a very normal one from afar, from a couple of podcasters who care and don't want to secretly go to Hawaii with you. And we're wishing you all the best.
[01:04:33] I can get my own bikini photos. That sounded just as creepy. All right, what's next?
[01:04:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my mom is 88 years old, and a few days ago she was put on hospice care as her organs are starting to shut down. My parents' first child was stillborn more than 60 years ago. They wanted something positive to come from his death, so they gave his body to science in the hope that the medical community could learn something from his death. In her will, my mom requested that her body also be donated to science and reminded me of this request over the years. A few years ago, my brother passed away and my mom requested that we do the same for him. I was on board because I always thought it was a noble, selfless choice. When I got to the funeral home to go over the arrangements though, the funeral director strongly advised against this choice. He said, my brother's body would go to a school for embalming. Basically, the only bodies sent there were homeless people or people with no family or money. I just couldn't do it. I had him cremated. I explained it all to my mom and she accepted it, but now I'm torn. I love my mom and imagining her broken body being handled in this way upsets me. On the other hand, because I love my mom, I want to respect her wishes. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Signed, Becoming Unglued As I Confront My Mom's Finitude.
[01:05:54] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, well, first of all, I'm very sorry to hear about your mom. That's got to be a very intense transition to go through. And I hope you're doing all right with that. You sound like a very thoughtful and respectful daughter. You're trying to do right by everybody here. I'm sure your mom appreciated that a lot in her life. She's lucky to have you looking out for her, especially on this. So this is an interesting question and I think there are a couple of angles here. First of all, Gabe and I did some reading up on this and we are obviously not experts in this field at all, so we might not have everything right, but we did some homework and what we learned about donating your body to science is quite different from what this funeral director told you.
[01:06:32] And I've gotten emails from show fans about donating your body to science in the past when we did our death industry piece on Skeptical Sunday and there was no talk of what this funeral director mentioned. As far as we can tell, bodies donated to science when they're done through legitimate organizations that have real protocols and high standards, they really do end up being used for research or testing or teaching. It is very useful, it's very noble. Now, is there some world where a body could end up in a school for embalming? I suppose it's possible, but we couldn't find anything about that online. It sounds a little suss to be honest. Also, I'm not even sure that's super terrible of school for embalming. Okay. I mean, they got to learn somehow. But anyway, even if a body ended up at a medical institution for research, I just have a really hard time believing it's going to get turned over to another school to practice embalming and then casually discarded or something, or mishandled. Also, many of these institutions, they cremate any remains that are not used in the research per state law, and some of them return the remains to the family, which is something you might want to keep in mind.
[01:07:36] We're also going to link to some articles we found about what actually happens at these places. It might put you at ease, give you some new angles on the decision. You can find those in the show notes. I'm a little puzzled by what the funeral director told you. Maybe he knows something we don't, but of course there is a part of me. And I don't mean to get all conspiracy theory Jordan here, but we did that Skeptical Sunday on the death industry. I was pretty disturbed by what I learned. And there's a part of me that just wonders whether the guy that told you that, told you that in order to sell you on a more lucrative option for him, like, "Oh, you want to donate the body? Hmm. I don't make much money off that. Here's a casket that's five G's or cremation, that's two G's." That's where I'm leaning. Although you did say you ended up going with cremation, which funeral homes also don't typically love, well, dishonest ones because it's less profitable than a traditional burial. I just don't know.
[01:08:25] What I do know is that donating your body to science should not be what that guy scared you into thinking. And if you do it with a legit institution, I think you can rest assured that your mother's body would be going toward a good cause and would be treated with dignity and with care and respect. I mean, that's just part of the deal. And obviously, my big bias here is that I agree with her. I think this is a great thing to do. And if this was your mom's wish, there's something to be said for honoring it.
[01:08:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know what I'm thinking about, Jordan? I'm thinking about the question from last week from the daughter whose dad was forcing her basically to take over his 3,000 books.
[01:09:01] Jordan Harbinger: The library. Yeah.
[01:09:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[01:09:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:09:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's just such an interesting question. You know how you balance your wishes with a dying parent's wishes? And our advice to that woman who wrote in is, that's quite a big ask your dad is making of you, and he wasn't the best father to you. And it's okay to do what you want with those books after he's gone. But your situation might not be so complicated if you come to the same conclusion that we did from the research.
[01:09:25] If you feel confident that your mom's body will do some good, and that's what your mom wanted, and you feel like these people are going to treat her body with care, I don't know if there's really much of an issue here. So I say honor her wishes, not just because they're her wishes, but because they generally fit with your interests and they fit with what seems to be true about this process. And I also agree with you, I think it's a nice way to create some additional value after she passes. I mean, look, you can literally save lives with this stuff directly or indirectly. It's pretty extraordinary. And if you want to still have a piece of her to visit or hang onto, then maybe you choose one of those organizations that returns the remains to the family, and then maybe you get the best of both worlds, so to speak.
[01:10:04] Jordan Harbinger: I like that idea, Gabe, and I think she can feel pretty confident that her mom's body will be treated well. So I'm very sorry about your mom, of course. I can hear how much you love her. She sounds like a person with a big heart, and I hope you and your family are doing okay. I hope you feel secure in whatever decision you come to sending you and your whole family a big hug.
[01:10:23] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out David Packouz's two-parter on becoming an arms dealer at age 20 if you haven't heard that yet.
[01:10:34] And if you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks for the show, it's about systems, it's about software, it's about tiny habits. It takes a few minutes a day. I'm teaching you how to do the same thing that I do on a regular basis in less than six minutes a day. It's on the Thinkific platform, jordanharbinger.com/course. Of course, I'm talking about Six-Minute Networking. Dig that well before you're thirsty, folks. Don't ignore this stuff. I spent too long thinking networking was for old people. I wish I knew this stuff 20, 30 years ago. Not fluff. Very crucial for business or your personal life. Again, free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:11:08] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, discounts, deals, ways to support the show are all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Go try the AI GBT-4-enabled chatbot, jordanharbinger.com/ai. You can find any promo code from the show, any Feedback Friday question we've ever answered. And hey, if you want to say something to me directly, I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn or you can find Gabe on Instagram @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:11:42] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jace 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. Ditto Corbin Payne. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful and the advice given herein to be responsible or at least worth sharing, share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:12:19] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno.
[01:12:24] Apolo Ohno: To me, the power of belief is the real lesson. I could tap into this unknown reservoir of performance potential. I believe that there was this sixth gear that I had access to. Then, everyone else only had five. I truly believe that. I was able to use my fear of failure in a way that was so powerful, it became a superpower, but over long enough durations of time, it also became toxic. We all live as if we have this infinite life, right? We take things for granted. We're grinding and very natural human experience. I do this too. Life is just incredible gift and so do not waste it on sh*t that is just like not worthy. It doesn't serve you and who you want to truly become.
[01:13:12] If there's one message that I can leave to people is that your choices to respond and react to the situations that you're meeting today are solely within your control, solely. Whether you are hyper-successful and you decide what you want to do next, whether you are failing miserable and you're deeply unhappy, or you feel like you're just floating and you're just like kind of like, "Ah, everyone seems like they all have it around me. It's all noise." The person that actually creates momentum and progress is the one that doesn't listen to that voice unless he's using it for fuel to actually make progression and positive movement.
[01:13:45] Everything that I dedicate myself towards today, my life mission is about how do we create a more open communication channel to create conversation that actually moves and inspires and reminds people of the superpowers that we actually really all have within.
[01:14:02] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Apolo Ohno, the most decorated Winter athlete in Olympic history, check out episode 783 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.