Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) joins us for this deep dive into vulnerability — what it really is, why it can’t be faked, and how to spot it in ourselves and others to make real connections while avoiding manipulation by those who don’t always have our best interests at heart. [Photo by Matt Antonioli]
What We Discuss with Gabriel Mizrahi:
- How to resist the pervasive Cult of Vulnerability that exists even in the most well-meaning of circles today.
- Why vulnerability doesn’t respond to exercises, requests, or expectations, no matter how hard you try.
- What happens when you try to force vulnerability — from yourself or someone else.
- How to tell the difference between authentic and strategic vulnerability.
- When being vulnerable is appropriate and when it isn’t — and how to ensure we’re calibrating it accordingly.
- And much more…
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“Vulnerability” is one of the most pervasive buzzwords being bandied about today. On the surface, it seems to come from good intentions — to illustrate that we all withdraw from being real at times and reassure us that it’s okay to show our true selves to others. Only by displaying ourselves as vulnerable — so say those subscribing to what Jordan calls The Cult of Vulnerability — can we make meaningful connections with others.
The problem with this line of thinking is that authentic vulnerability isn’t something that can be manufactured on cue. It can’t be trotted out like a show pony in front of a live audience; it needs to be coaxed out indirectly and organically, or else it shrinks from scrutiny like a felonious executive under congressional oversight. In this deep dive with Gabriel Mizrahi we examine how to spot vulnerability when it’s being used strategically by others to manipulate us, how to tell when vulnerability is authentic, and how we know when the time is right to show our own vulnerability or keep it to ourselves. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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More About This Show
The Cult of Vulnerability
Gabriel and I talked about a trendy dinner party in Los Angeles I once attended. The food was enjoyable but the evening quickly turned into a worst version of forced self-help you can imagine. We were instructed by the host to go around the room and talk about the one thing we were all struggling with. Yuck.
Forced vulnerability never works. It was awkward and not only did it not bring everyone closer — it just didn’t work. Have you been in a situation where you’ve felt like you were forced to play along and be intimate? Well, it’s time to break out of the Cult of Vulnerability.
Just Say No
Gabriel told me a story about a dinner party that he attended during which The Cult of Vulnerability made an appearance. (Dinner parties in L.A. sure sound suspect, huh?) At Gabriel’s event, when it was his turn, he just said no. He opted out, and the circle continued without him having to force his way through some inauthentic vulnerability.
Later that evening, multiple people quietly thanked Gabriel for opting out. They didn’t even realize saying no was an option. And remember: you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do (even if someone is saying your lack of participation is the problem).
Checking Your Motivations
Vulnerability isn’t worth a damn if it isn’t real. With intimacy, authenticity will only come up organically. The best way to get to true vulnerability is to start by checking in with yourself about why it is you’re after this sort of emotional nakedness.
To dive even deeper into vulnerability, make sure to read this episode’s companion article here: Stop Trying to Be “Vulnerable.” Do This Instead.
THANKS, GABRIEL MIZRAHI!
If you enjoyed this session with Gabriel Mizrahi, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Gabriel Mizrahi at Twitter!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Stop Trying to Be “Vulnerable.” Do This Instead. by Jordan Harbinger
Transcript for Deep Dive | This Is the Vulnerable Truth about Vulnerability (Episode 94)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. In today's conversation we're talking with my friend, Gabriel Mizrahi. He's also the Head of Editorial here on the Jordan Harbinger Show. Today, a popular topic that seems to be almost cliché, and frankly is often mishandled by what I consider to be ham-handed self-help experts, if we can even call them that. The topic is vulnerability, but not the fake scripted vulnerability that we see so much of these days, especially on social media or elsewhere online. We're talking about real authentic vulnerability. This episode might sound fluffy. I assure you it is not. We are going to include some of the human hacking and people reading, we teach to high level executives, military intelligence agencies in this episode here, so get ready to take some notes.
[00:00:48] Today, we'll discover different types of vulnerability such as tactical and authentic vulnerability. We'll also explore how to break out of the empty, unfulfilling, and FOMO inducing cult of vulnerability. It seems to be so popular these days and we'll learn how to cultivate the right kind of connections with others and for ourselves. We'll also learn how to spot these different types of vulnerability in others as well as in ourselves, which makes it easier for us to decode other people's intentions. That's great for protecting ourselves against people with an agenda that might not have our best interests in mind. We'll also going to be talking a lot about this vulnerability stuff at our Advanced Human Dynamics Live Events, so if you're coming to those, you will want to hear this episode because it's a little preview there. Details on those events at advancedhumandynamics.com. And if you want to know how we managed to book all these great people, manage all these great relationships with so many high achievers that we'd like to have here on the show, check out our Six-Minute Networking course, that's free. It's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And don't forget, we've got worksheets for today's episode just like we always do, so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of all the key takeaways of everything that I talk about here, about vulnerability with Gabriel Mizrahi. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. All right, let's talk vulnerability.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:10] So Jordan, you recently told me a story about a really strange dinner party that you went to. I thought it was a really interesting moment that you stumbled into, and I felt like what happened at that dinner party was kind of a window into a strange thing that's happening, not just at like cool, trendy dinner parties, but kind of in the self-help world at large. So I thought maybe you could tell us about this dinner party and then we could explore it together and see if we can figure anything out about the way people are connecting right now. Tell us what happened.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:43] Yeah. So this is just very symptomatic of, I think like you said, trendy dinner parties where first of all, we're all seated, everyone's kind of feeling like, “Oh, okay, we just met all these new people.” And then in an effort to, I guess get everyone to connect was the host who was like, “All right, everybody go around and talk about the one thing that they're really struggling with right now.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:08] Okay. So pause, paint us a picture. Where are you right now?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:11] So we’re at those guys house.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:12] In L.A.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:13] in L.A, of course. And naturally on the West Side and all these people who get together are kind of like influencery type people or artsy people, which is good. It's a good crowd. And we're all kind of mixing normally, people have drinks in their hand, whatever.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:32] It's chill before this happened.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:32] Yeah. It's not like, “All right, everyone sit down. The bell rings, the kids are sitting in class.” But it almost became that way when we sat down because instead of just being able to talk to the person who you sat next to, who you'd already connected with a little bit before, it was kind of like, “Okay, almost like assigned seats.” I don't know if there were assigned seats, but I remember the host rearranging us a little bit, which I thought was weird.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:53] But it felt like that, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:55] And it felt like that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:56] So he's kind of stopped the dinner party. The way I remember it and kind of just was like, “Now, we are going to enter an exercise.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:02] Right, right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:03] So tell us about the exercise.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:03] It was like life coachee. So the exercise was shared one thing you're struggling with right now, which is fine, if you want to get people to introduce themselves, you can say like, “Hey everyone, let's go around the table and do the name thing in case you didn't catch somebody or you need a refresher, and talk about what they do that that wasn't what this was.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:17] No, this was different, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:18] This was like talk about some secrets so that people feel closer to you, and it was incredibly awkward. People were saying things like, “Well, this thing is going on right now. This thing happened to me recently, or this is what I'm working on right now.” But the host definitely -- it was one of those like, “Tell something off the cuff.” And then the host was like, “Here's this prescriptive thing that I practiced in the mirror 85 times.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:44] Oh, right like he kicked off by saying like, “Oh go first.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:48] Sure, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:49] But his thing is like prepared, he has like a polished little story.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:53] Right. And it was kind of like the Michael Scott, tell me what your biggest weaknesses. “Oh, my biggest weaknesses, I have no weaknesses,” something like that. It was kind of like, “What's going on with you?” “Oh, I'm feeling really vulnerable about this thing that happened that makes me look really deep, introspective, kind, all these positive qualities.” And then it's like, “All right, person on my left.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:14] Tell us about your divorce.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:15] Go and you're like, “Oh, I'm failing in my life right now.” Yeah, “Tell us about your divorce.” And then it's like, “Oh cool.” Well that doesn't make you look good and you didn't have time to polish the delivery, and by the way, we're all strangers.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:28] So you described it as awkward.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:30] Yes.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:31] Did everybody else feel that way, or did only you feel that way?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:33] It was hard to tell. I really think that there's no way I was the only person who felt awkward and it wasn't -- to be clear, I wasn't feeling awkward because I don't want to share stuff, I'm fine with that. It was awkward because it was fake intimacy. It was forced vulnerability, but it wasn't real because a lot of the other people were like, “Right now, I'm going through a transition phase because I don't know if I want to focus on acting or art,” and I'm like, this person just didn't want to share a real thing or didn't have anything and was just trying to clear the lowest bar or the highest bar I should say possible to just get done and pass the ball, just pass the ball to the next person. And then people were like, “Oh, okay, now I have to play this game. Where am I sharing something real or how real is it? How much detail do I put in there?” And again, it was all strategically designed so that the host could one, shine, and two, the idea was to cause this situation, create the situation in which everyone felt closer to each other for having shared something, but nobody was going to really do it. And so it failed, in my opinion.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:39] It failed. It didn't work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:40] Yeah, it didn't work.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:40] So what I found so interesting about that little anecdote is that I feel like I've been at so many dinner parties like that and when I've talked to a few other people, everyone's like, “Oh, I've been through that exercise before,” whether it's at a conference, like in a breakout session where everybody needs to get real close real quick, or it's at a dinner party where the host is like often assumes the role of like, “I am either the super connector or I'm a therapist or I'm an author who writes about this stuff.” And so if you come to my house, you better get ready to get vulnerable. And what kills me about it is that, first of all, I feel like in most cases these people's intentions are actually quite good. I don't think they're going in there being like, “I'm going to create a scenario where I'm going to force people to say things they don't want to say, and act away they don't want to act, but they're going to feel really awkward about it. It's going to be great.” No, it's like they really want people to connect. They know that vulnerability, which is such an overused term, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:39] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:39] But so important. Obviously, we all know that intimacy and vulnerability is key. They know that everybody wants that feeling and that if you can create that feeling or at least allow it to happen, then people will have a great time. They'll remember you as a person they could be vulnerable with, which is great. So the intentions are good, but the way people are going about it, that they're going from the outside in being like, “We need to create vulnerability, therefore we must do this exercise,” while everybody sits there going, “I really don't want to.” And by the way, if you didn't make us do this exercise and you just let us enjoy our dinner and our drinks and just hang out with each other, which at your dinner party was exactly what was happening, then everybody might've actually gotten vulnerable but on their own terms in a very organic way, which is so different from what you've described.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:27] Honestly, I think if he'd let it go another 15 minutes with the pre-dinner drinks and stories or whatever people were doing, people would have walked away with real connections. But instead it was kind of called to order too early to run this exercise, which by the way was not that short. It wasn't like, “All right, next, all right next.” It was like each person just went for a seemingly in order to an inordinate amount of time, it was almost like, I feel like the whole thing, 20 to 30 minutes with a small group, maybe even longer, I don’t know. I should've kept time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:59] It’s like an hour and 10 minute vulnerability circle.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:01] It was just ridiculous, and it was like people were kind of just faking their way through it. Some people were probably honest and then resented the fact that they had opened up too much. Other people, actually, this is a concept that we talk about at Advanced Human Dynamics as well and on the show, but they had almost like a buyer's remorse where somebody would be really open and then another person would be kind of like fake open and you could just tell the person who went before them was like, “Oh crap I did. I went too far too early. I overshared.” So then they felt awkward and I was like, “I don't really want to get into it because I don't really want to broadcast everything, but I also don't want to seem like I'm not playing the game fair.” So I had to kind of, I didn't make anything up but I certainly went, “Well, I'm going through this transition.” I didn't say like “Here's all these feelings and everything.” I just went again like slid right into home on this one, and I think a lot of other people did the same.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:53] So this is why I wanted to talk about it today because, so like we said, so many people have been through this situation, but I think most people know that vulnerability is really valuable and powerful. So on the one hand, we're all looking for that feeling, and obviously, if you're in a leadership position, whether it's you're a manager, you're managing a team at work or you're a self-help professional and you have clients or partners, or just you want to be a better friend or partner or parent, like you know that vulnerability really matters. But the moment you start trying to create vulnerability, that's when the problems sneak in, because vulnerability is almost this thing, if it's done correctly, it's not done at all. It just sort of happens.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:35] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:10:36] So what you described at this dinner party is like this simulation of vulnerability. And as we said, even though the intentions are good, it really does end up falling flat or even working against you because while you're in your head or you're self-conscious about what you're going to say or what someone else has said or if it's the right thing to say or even if you're sitting in there thinking, I'm down for this with someone I know but I want to do this. I just want to like hang out at this dinner party. You're not in a vulnerable state. You can be saying the words, you can be playing along, but you're really not being intimate. You’re playing along in this strange game. So instead of allowing this organic, authentic, spontaneous connection to take place, I feel like we're seeing a lot of people try to manufacture it. So the question becomes how do we get this awesome connected feeling that we all want and not fall into the trap of trying to create it? That's what I wanted to talk about.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:27] Right. So instead of manufacturing it or trying to manufacture it, and then we ended up with like the vulnerabilities simulator 1.0, which is exactly what this exercise was. We have to figure out how to be authentically vulnerable, but then we have this paradox of course, and we'll get into this in a little bit that, “Well wait, so if I'm trying to be authentically vulnerable, how's that different from being vulnerable with this exercise?” And it just kind of -- you can end up through this if you don't do it right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:54] Yeah. It becomes strategic and creative as opposed to organic and authentic. And then it gets even more complicated because it seems like the only way to get that feeling is through these exercises. And you could even do that to yourself, like you show up to a first date, let's say, or an interview or just to hang out with friends and you're feeling like, “Oh, I have some things on my mind,” or “I'm wrestling with some stuff,” which we all are at every moment. And then you're like, “Well, maybe if I talk about it or share or I ask other people what they're going through, that feeling will go away or I'll feel a little bit better or more connected or more open. So you can even do it to yourself. It doesn't even have to be at a dinner party. So it's like, you can't win almost.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:36] Yeah, you kind of can’t win, but we're going to try to show you how to win.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:39] How to win, let's do it. So what you described, I think is the cult of vulnerability. That's actually a phrase you used and I thought it was really apt because the cult of vulnerability is the larger game that everybody seems to be playing. Well, the dinner party is the perfect example because you have this leader person or person who's in a leadership position who gets to decide that these are the rules of the game, we all go around, we talk, we get open, we get vulnerable. But then nobody else questions it, and if you do question it or you don't want to play along, then you look like there's something wrong with you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:39] Yeah, you rejecting the social contract. Like, “Hey, we're all sharing.
Why don't you want to share your being? You're not being vulnerably not playing the game with us.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:22] What's wrong with you?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:24] What are you afraid of?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:24] What are you afraid of? Exactly. It's like, “Well, I'm kind of afraid of not enjoying this moment at all, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:30] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:31] Which is a perfectly legitimate fear in my opinion. So how do you break out of the cult? And I feel like it took me a few years really, and I'm a little bit embarrassed that it took me that long when I think back on all of the annoying dinner parties like going when you described to realize that you don't actually have to play along. You don't have to, no one’s making you and you're not a worse person if you don't, which is really funny.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:55] The other hidden truth I think is that most people sitting there, they don't want to do it either. It's just peer pressure.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:02] It's peer pressure. It’s the cult.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:04] It's cult, yeah, exactly. It's the cult. And also the secret wish, and I'm sort of imputing this maybe unfairly, but I think the secret wish of every dinner party host who runs this thing is that somebody cries, I just can't help but think that they would go to bed so soundly that night if someone was like, “And then my such and such passed away,” and just everyone loses it and starts crying and then has a group hug at the end. I think that's their holy grail of this BS exercise.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:36] Well, that's kind of like hacky therapist 101, where it's like when I get them to cry, I have one on some levels.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:42] It’s so Dr. Phil, it's not even funny.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:45] But here's the messed up part is that I think I've been at a couple of those things where someone has cried or someone just up so easily that that contributes to that feeling that there must be something wrong with me if I can't do that, why are they so good at it? It's like, which is such a weird thought, like why are you better at forced vulnerability than I am? But that's how the human mind works. There's a social psychology component to that, which is that we're not wired to trust our instincts when they're in a group setting.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:15] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our Deep Dive with Gabriel Mizrahi. We'll be right back after this.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:03] You know, it's not just dinner parties. I do this, and I won't go too far down this path, but a lot of BSE self-help seminar type things do this. And I've noticed it being used by manipulative people who run those like level one is 500 dollars, level two is a thousand dollars. Those kinds of big group seminars held at hotels near your airports. They do this all the time and they go to ridiculous extremes and it seems ridiculous even in the moment. So the dinner party is the light version, but I don't know if I want to generalize this entirely, but I would say anytime someone is forcing you to do things that simulate vulnerability, there's almost always an ulterior motive. Usually it's just for them to feel good or to try to give the group cohesion. It's done in a clumsy way, but when there's money on the line, it's actually quite manipulative.
[00:18:51] And I remember one self-help seminar that I'd gone to that was marketed to me by a friend as a quote unquote Leadership Seminar. There were multiple types of vulnerability exercises. One of which I'm not even kidding, was partnering up with a total stranger and then pretending they're your parents and you have to cry. They were like, “You have to cry.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:12] What?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:13] And they're like --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:14] Wait, these are strangers, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:15] Total strangers. And they're like, “You have to tell them all of the things you didn't get from them.” Feel free to be angry, to cry, to yell. There were people in each other's laps crying. And I'm like, I got, of course, got in trouble for like not being enthusiastic enough, because I was just talking with the person with me.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:34] Obviously that's your fault.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:34] Yeah, yeah, naturally. And I'm like, “No, I didn't have this weird dysfunctional childhood, so do I have to crawl into this like middle age judge’s lap and cry? And all of these, what I consider to be highly suggestible people were really into it. And I thought, “Hmm, okay, either this isn't for me or I'm just the bad sport in the group.” And I was made to feel that way the whole time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:55] I hate it. I hate everything about what you just described, but what that also tells me is that people really need this, and that's why people end up in these situations like I don't think people would be trying to create vulnerability and all these moments if there weren't really a need for it, but then we're back to the paradox, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:13] Yeah. We're back to the paradigm. I don't know if the fake vulnerabilities, what's needed. I think real vulnerability is what's needed.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:18] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:19] Except that when they're trying to create it, they're trying to create a moment for the purposes in this case of trying to make money, but also in the case of the dinner party for trying to go -- the host wanted people to leave and go, “This was so amazing,” because they never have these authentic moments, but you just can't grab someone by the neck and choke, slam them into vulnerability, it doesn’t work.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:40] So I want to tell you a quick story, which is that a few years ago, I was actually now a couple of years ago, and I was at a dinner party, very similar to the one you described. I think this is a template for Hangouts apparently. The host was a therapist, actually a very renowned therapist, I think she was also an author, and we're all sitting around the table, exact same situation, fun people, interesting people having a good time. We all sit down. A few minutes into the dinner you hear the click, clink, clink, and the host standing up and she says, “So I'd like everyone to share the one thing they're most afraid of right now.” And like the moment I heard the words, I was instantly transported back to that feeling, I've had all those other ones where it's like, “I really wish I didn't come tonight.” “Can I leave and go to the bathroom and not come back for an hour and a half?” You know, like looking around the table already in my head, my mind is already being like “What's the thing? What's the thing you're going to share? What are you going to say?” Which is like, I'm already out of the moment completely.
[00:21:37] But this time I kind of understood what was happening because I had thought about it, you and I had talked about it over the years, and I knew that at this point it's okay to not want to participate in that kind of moment. So when it was my turn, I think I was somewhere in the middle, so like several people had gone already, and I'd say about half of them said something pretty intense and real and half of them were just like skating by as you said. But when it was my turn, I was just like, “Actually if it's cool with you guys, I'd rather not share anything tonight. I'm really happy to be here. I'm really excited to be here at dinner. I'm totally excited for this evening, I'm totally happy to meet all you guys, but I'm just not really feeling this exercise.” And it was actually quite funny because the therapist was like, “I don’t know if she was joking or trying to make light or keep control, but she was like, “It sounds like that's your biggest fear not sharing.” And I was like, “Oh, maybe,” like I laughed along and I was like, “Maybe, maybe we can talk about that in your office one day or something.” And like that kind of diffused the tension a little bit, and then we just moved on, and six, seven, eight more people spoke and after dinner we were all hanging out and like three or four people came up to me and were like, “Thank you for saying that.” “I didn't even know that you could do that. I didn't know that was an option.” And I was like, “Yeah, it's an option. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.” And they were like, “I didn't want to do it. I didn't feel comfortable.” I was like, “I know, so don't.” It's all good. You don't have to be a dick about it. You don't have to make a scene out of it.
[00:23:06] But it's funny that we’re just not taught that you don't have to play along when something doesn't feel authentic because we're not taught to listen to our authenticity as a society -- like in our society. I just don't think that's something that's encouraged very often. It's something that most of us, certainly for me, this was the case. You have to teach yourself or you have to learn.
[00:23:26] So after being through enough of those, I was just like, “Forget this.” So before we talk about how to create the right kind of vulnerability, I just want to point out, and this is what I really wanted to share with listeners is like, trust those instincts, understand the difference between manufactured vulnerability and authentic vulnerability, and know that it's okay, that if you don't want to participate, you don't have to. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. It doesn't mean you won't get vulnerability somewhere else. It's not your only shot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:52] Right. It just means that you won't get invited back to those dinner parties, but that's a good thing.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:57] And it’s that such a big loss, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:58] No, that's a great thing. That's great. Let's talk about the right kind of vulnerability because now people are thoroughly confused. So if I can't manufacture vulnerability, I just have to wait for it to happen, but if it never happens and I'm never going to get it and I'm going to die alone.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:11] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:12] Something like that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:13] It's the fear for sure. Certainly what I thought when I was at the dinner party is going to die alone, not going to have any friends. So look, I think this is pretty intuitive, but just to be super clear, authentic vulnerability means offering a part of yourself, which could be an opinion or a story or a feeling or an issue without any specific expectation or goal in mind. That's what happens at the dinner parties because there's A, an external expectation that you're going to share. And B, there's this goal in mind, which is that at the end of this, we're all going to be closer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:46] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:47] So that's when it goes from being awesome and organic and spontaneous to being some contrived experiment. Authentic vulnerability also means sharing, connecting because you want to, not because someone or something made you, and it means being exposed in some way, not because it's there to advance the agenda of the moment, whether it's a conference or dinner party or just a conversation, but because you just want to, because you're being yourself, and usually that means that you're not even aware that you're being vulnerable because it's happening so reflexively, it's just happening in the moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:22] You know what? Before we really dive into that, I want to put one last bow on the fake vulnerability idea. Because after this sort of help self-help disaster seminar where they try to upsell you on to the next thing with the fake vulnerability and the crying and everyone's lapse for three days. One thing I thought was maybe I, again, I had that feeling, maybe I am the person who's just not participating.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:52] Maybe I'm shut down.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:53] Right, maybe I'm shut down. I also was pretty convinced that I was just having a defense mechanism that was very natural when somebody is trying to manipulate you the entire time for three straight days.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:02] Right, right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:03] And I remember talking to other people and they're like, “You know, yeah, if you don't want to play full-on, which is another one of those like terms that they use to make you go into doing, to compliance actually, and were actually teaching, funnily enough, we're teaching counter manipulation and counter influence strategies that Advanced Human Dynamics, and we're doing our live events and teaching this stuff because this stuff is used by a lot of people. This was just a lot of it in three days, for very suggestible people or to create suggestible people but a lot of places do this. I contacted a bunch of people a year and change after this big self-help seminar because everyone was convinced that they were going to be friends with everybody that they were there with for the rest of their life because of all vulnerability stuff. Not one person that I talked to, and I talked to like 10, 20 people. They were not in contact with any other people from that event. So this manufactured vulnerability stuff, it doesn't even work, especially if it's overused. You eventually get jaded enough where you go, “Oh, never mind,” and you eventually your mind wises up, and actually ends up having the opposite effect because you go, “Ah, that happened way too early. I don't want to do that.” It's kind of like if you meet someone at a bar and you sleep with them, there's a really good chance that even if you got along you'd be like, “Ah, I don't know if I want to continue this. That happened too early. I was wasted.” But then again, sometimes you marry that person, but most of the time you just never see them again. You get a little buyer's remorse and that's exactly what happened at this self-help seminar was these people universally according to my small 20 plus person sample size. You just never talked to those people again because your mind realizes after a while, “Ooh, I got in too far too early. This was fake. I feel too laid bare and I don't want to have anything to do with it anymore.” So it works for the dinner party and then a month later you're going, “Ugh--
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:59] Yeah, what even happened?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:00] What happened?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:03] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with Gabriel Mizrahi in our Deep Dive. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:09] This episode is also sponsored by Varidesk. I love my Varidesk. I got the new ProDesk 60 Electric standing desk, which is great because I'm always like, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. I can't really make up my mind and that's actually healthy, so who knew? Nobody wants to sit all day. It's the new smoking, as many of you have heard and really this ProDesk 60, you can raise and lower it really quickly. In fact, you can assemble the darn thing in under five minutes and it's built like an absolute tank. It's built to last, commercial grade materials, simple to set up, easy to move once you do. You know a lot of things when you build it, “It's like don't touch it. It's going to fall apart.” That's not what's going to happen with your Varidesk. The new ProDesk 60 Electric, you can also try this thing for 30 days with free shipping and free returns. If you're not satisfied, Jason, tell them where they can find the ProDesk 60 Electric.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:12] This episode is sponsored in part by FreshBooks. If you run your own business, I know you love being your own boss. It was hard for me to learn how to do that, but of course, you know that's where it's at. That's half the fantasy. Endless earning potential, doing what you love every day. That can make all the admin and paperwork and other responsibility worthwhile, but there is an easier way to deal with all the time consuming tasks of accounting and paperwork and our friends at FreshBooks, they make accounting software that is incredibly simple to use. I've been using it for I think 11, almost 11 years now. As you might guess, that makes accounting much easier. Paperwork's a thing of the past. When I say it's easy to use, here's what I mean. You can create and send professional looking invoices in about 30 seconds, they're all electronic. Clients can click and pay those invoices right online with online payments at super low rates by the way, which in turn gets you paid twice as fast, and you can link your FreshBooks account to your credit card, your debit card. So next time you expense a business launch, it'll just show up in the FreshBooks account. And as a FreshBooks customer, I've seen how all these features can save you a ton of time every week. So I've got more time to create shows and do what I love. And right now we're giving our listeners a free 30 day trial of FreshBooks for everyone. No card needed. Jason, tell them where they can find that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:27] Just go to freshbooks.com/jordan and enter JORDAN in the, How did you hear about us section? That's freshbooks.com/jordan enter code JORDAN. Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/advertisers. We also have an Alexa Skill, so you can get inspirational and educational clips from the show in your daily briefing. Go to jordanharbinger.com/alexa, or search for Jordan Harbinger in the Alexa App. Now let's hear some more with Gabriel Mizrahi.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:59] We know the real thing when we see it and when we feel it, even if we are not feeling real in the moment, we know when we're in the presence of something true or organic or you know, just that comes from a pure place, and the irony is that if you don't feel it in that moment, you will feel it later because your authenticity is always there. It's just clouded under these layers of expectation or a desire to please or to not be difficult or to be like, “Oh, if I'm not the one doing it, there must be something wrong so I better fix that, I better play along.” But authenticity will always kick in, even if you don't realize it, it's always there, and that's what you're talking about because none of those people were like, “Oh, I had the real thing.” No, they were like, that wasn't the real thing. So I don't feel that close to these people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:45] Yeah, and the more suggestible you are, of course the more effective this is. However, that's not necessarily good for you. Especially when there's a company trying to essentially make money upgrading you to the next thing, and it is classic called psychology. It is dark psychology at work and you can often see when this is happening, a little side note, if you don't want to participate, if they shame you. So dinner party is probably not going to happen too much, then again you don't know. If you say, “I'm not really feeling like sharing.” Does the host go, “That's fine,” or did they go, “Oh, what are you hiding from us, Gabriel?” Because if that's happening, there's dark psychology at work.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:26] You can't win.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:26] You can't win.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:27] Yeah, totally. So I think the question becomes how do you encourage other people and yourself to be vulnerable without forcing them or forcing yourself to be vulnerable?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:36] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:37] And how can we create organic vulnerability with our friends and our colleagues and our partners and our parents without falling into the trap of strategic vulnerability? How can you get people to authentically open up if getting them to open up is automatically inauthentic?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:51] Yeah, so where do we start with this? Well, I think the first thing, and we've been talking about it already, but let's just call it out, which is that vulnerability, true vulnerability responds to vulnerability. So if you want other people to open up to you, you're going to have to open up yourself. Now that's different from what the dinner party host is doing, which is saying we're all going to do this, and I'm going to start just to set the example, but also I'm totally in control here because I've been practicing.
[00:33:18] What really makes a difference is you adopting vulnerability as an authentic normal part of your day to day life. So if you're sitting down to dinner with your family instead of saying we're all going to go around and talk about what we're most stressed about, which by the way I think might be a common family thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:35] Is it?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:36] I think so.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:36] Not in my family. I'm weird too so, on the result of that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:39] Well, we literally never had dinners in my house. Like not that our parents didn't feed us, but it wasn't like at 6:30 p.m, we all sit down. We would stand up at the counter and just like talk so.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:52] That sounds way more authentic than everyone's sit down and act polite for the only hour of the day for you, for showdown.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:57] Honestly, it's so funny because I wonder if that's why I'm so allergic to it because it's like “No, thank you.” Haven't seen that before. But I do know that there are families that do this, and again, it's not that they're evil or that there's something wrong. I think their intentions are good, but whatever the context, choosing to open up, opening up to the people around you and then just allowing whatever happens to happen is always going to lead to a more authentic experience than trying to create the end result and then creating the moment that we've been talking about.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:24] Yeah, good point. I find that whenever I am authentically vulnerable, just speaking my mind, not worrying about the consequences, there might be one or two people that will agree join me in conversation later or even in the moment, but going around and forcing everyone to do it is a great way to push everyone back in their shell. You kind of have to be vulnerable first, but without the expectation of somebody reciprocating.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:48] Yeah, totally. And that right there is how quickly you can slip into the paradox and then you realize why these people do what they do, like some of them don't mean to do it. It's not their fault. They just don't even realize how quickly it can become strategic. So you have to be very aware I think, you have to be kind of very conscious and deliberate that you're not holding onto an expectation or a result, which also means by the way that you might open up, you might become vulnerable. It doesn't go the way you thought, “Okay.” But then to stop and be like, “Okay, I shared now you share.” Or like “W5hat's going on here? Why is no one talking?” Or “What's wrong with you? I did my part.” That's when it gets into like the other thing.
[00:35:25] So in the right setting with the right people, with the right conversation, I bet you'd be willing to open up more about your own experiences if someone else has, without forcing you to, and your example, like sharing an opinion, a controversial opinion or a decision or something you feel strongly about, might even invite somebody to disagree with you or to be like, “Actually I think that's bullshit.” Like, “No.” But that back and forth, that conflict is more organic and vulnerable than a polite, strategic vulnerability exercise.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:] That's a good point. Yeah, because I think with these -- again with strategic vulnerability, people don't feel the option to say, “Well, I think that might just be the way you're experiencing it. It's not the way other people feel about it.” It's almost like, “All right, nobody's wrong. This is about sharing feelings.” And that in itself is incredibly awkward in a social setting. It's not a therapy setting, and so you're right, that encourages people to censure, whatever it is that they're about to say, because if you're sharing, and I know I have to share. One, I'm not even listening to you. I'm thinking about how I'm going to craft my story. And two, I don't dare disagree with something because I can't disagree with Gabriel's feelings, that's impolite. But if we're just having a conversation, one person says something, then other people don't have this train track with that they're allowed to go down. They can do whatever they want, which leads to more authentic interactions.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:52] They're not self-editing, they're not self-conscious. Totally. So if you want to create vulnerability in your social circles, your team meetings, your family dinners, your friendships, the first principle to understand is this. If you want vulnerability, you'll have to give it first, but you'll have to give it first without buying into the idea that whatever happens next is what you wanted to have happen, because that is real vulnerability.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:16] It's kind of like the networking principle where you give without the expectation of anything in return and without the attachment to anything in return. And nine times out of 10 or eight times out of 10, people won't return it because they're not in a mood, they don't have anything to offer, they're not really feeling it. They feel awkward doing, it doesn't matter why. And then at that time or later someone will pop out and go, “Yes, this happened,” or “I feel safe sharing this,” or “I disagree with this,” or “I agree with you here and feel the same way,” but you can't have a plan for it. Because if as soon as you do that, you're keeping score. Again, just like networking, now that I think about it, you're keeping score and so if somebody doesn't want to participate, you feel like they're not keeping up with the social contract, that you have a covert contract that says that they're going to share and when they don't, you have an negative emotional reaction to that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:04] What you're getting into now is another really interesting point, which is that the difference between authentic vulnerability and strategic vulnerability often comes down to our reasons for engaging in it. What are our motivations for doing it? When our vulnerability comes with an agenda, whether that agenda is to get closer to someone or to win their sympathy or to be perceived in a certain way, even if that way is as the most vulnerable person.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:33] You win the vulnerability contest.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:34] Yep, then you can be sure that there's a self-interested motivation lurking behind that exercise, and if there's a self-interested motivation lurking, then it can never really be fully authentic. But this is tricky territory, so we have to tease this out a little bit because let's be honest, even authentic vulnerability has motivations. Those motivations are to be ourselves, to create connection, to build rapport, to feel less isolated or alone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:06] So that overlaps a lot with strategic vulnerability.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:10] So what's the difference?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:11] Yeah, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:11] That's hard because it almost seems like anything we do falls back on motivation. So it's kind of like damned if you do, damned if you don't, either I’m strategic or authentic, then I'm always strategic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:20] Fine.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:20] Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:21] Yeah. Screw it. I'm just going to be strategic because it's easier.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:23] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:23] The end.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:24] Right. But I think we can do better and there is a way out of this, and it's about understanding which motivations are driving. So if your motivation hinges on achieving something specific, so it could be to make people like us or to win their sympathy like we said, or just to be the guy who gets to run the dinner party where everyone opens up, then you're trying to get something from the other person. And if that's the case, then it's strategic, but if your motivations are about being, not getting, but being, being open, being connected, being less alone, being in a position to share and understand people better and understand yourself better and to find out what happens without knowing what's going to happen, those are the right motivations, and those are the motivations that make something authentic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:14] That's important, I think the distinction, because otherwise it all from a mechanical perspective looks pretty similar and from a tactical perspective as well. So yeah, we want to be careful with that. And I think people are smart enough to realize the motivations. It's just that once, if we can convince ourselves, which I think dinner party hosts often do, that what they're doing is sort of for the benefit of the greater good. So we need a little bit of introspection, we need to pause and think, why am I doing this? And hopefully it'll be readily obvious if you say something like, “Well, I want everyone to open up and share,” then it's strategic. But if you say, “Well, I want people to feel comfortable doing this and I really want to share this,” that's a little bit different, that's sort of gray area. And if you're thinking, this is what's on my mind, and I would love to share those because it will make me feel better,” then I think that's a little bit more authentic, because then you're not going, “Everyone else is going to do it too.” It's just, “Hey, thanks everyone for coming. I've been going through a lot of stuff lately. Here's what's up.” And then you can leave it hanging, and if people go, “Oh, well, I’m really sorry to hear that. Pass the cheeseboard.” That's it. Not “Okay, what's going on with you?” And if the person says, “Not much, just enjoying life. Got back from the beach today, really great day for surfing.” That's what they're sharing. Don't go, “What is it about surfing that makes you feel so at peace?” Like get rid of that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:37] Get rid of that, because in that case, the cheeseboard is the best thing about the party.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:40] Yes, exactly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:41] And the festive is it the worst.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:42] You’re even cheesier than the cheeseboard.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:44] So as you work on becoming more vulnerable, I think you have to check in with yourself to understand your own motivations. And we can accept that those motivations are there. It's just about which ones you choose to lead with. And with more self-awareness, with more checking in, you'll begin to notice when and why you open up in the first place, and you'll start to catch yourself forcing that vulnerability if you are forcing it or demanding it from other people for a strategic reason. And really that's the difference is just parsing out those motivations and understanding when they're at play and going with the ones that lead to openness and connection as opposed to end results and forced intimacy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:21] I love that. Right, I love that. So in fact, this is not the same dinner party. In fact, it wasn't even a dinner party now that I think about it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:29] You have another one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:29] I have another one.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:30] Oh geez.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:30] I'll keep it short.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:31] No, tell us. I want to hear.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:33] There was an --
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:33] I don’t know why I love this so much, they're so oddly fascinating.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:36] it is oddly fascinating now that you mention it, yeah. There was an author that his father had recently passed away and he and I -- I don't actually remember exactly who it was because I don't know who this author is at all. And he said, “Well I dedicated my latest book to my father, and this was like an influencery type gathering. And then it was kind of parlayed in a sneaky way into promotion of the book. And I thought this is really gross because it's, “Oh that's so sweet. You dedicated the book to your father who was a big influence on you and passed away,” and then it was kind of like, “Everyone promote my new book,” and it's like, “Well, if you say no, you're rejecting this person's attempted vulnerability,” and you're kind of like, “I don't care if your father died and you dedicated this book to him. I'm not mailing it out to my list.” And that was the exact intent and you could just tell, you could just tell, because it wasn't casually mentioned. It was very much like hammered in that this had to be a bestseller and that you had to do your part, otherwise, you were somehow crapping on the memory of this guy's dead father.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:41] Yeah, again--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:42] It was just horrible.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:43] I think that's part of the cult, is that if you don't play along, then you're doing something worse. But can we dig into that for a moment? Because I'm just thinking about what I would do if I were in that guy situation. So we all know how hard it is to write a book. We all know that to write a book successfully, you have to be connected to a larger mission purpose, goal. Like it's one of the hardest things in the world. For this guy, it sounds like his father was really influential. I don't know anything more about him or their relationship, but I'm assuming that it was quite meaningful to him. He includes it in the book. If it were just a dedication, he wouldn't even had to mention it, but he went a step further and sort of use that potentially as part of his marketing with this group of people.
[00:44:26] So how do you write a book, market it, and share your mission with this group of important people to you without slipping into that kind of strategic use of the vulnerability? Because I'm trying to think about, obviously, he wants to sell copies.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:47] Sure. And that's fine.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:48] Right, it's fine. So I'm just trying -- it's like I would have cringed if I were at that dinner party. And yet what's so hard about this topic is how to understand, does that mean he should have stayed away from it entirely, that it was an unfair technique? Or is there a version of that that's cool?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:03] The version of that. There's a version of that that's cool. You can say, “Look, I dedicated this book to -- you know my father was a big influence on me, et cetera. I dedicated this book to him so it means a lot to me. Then don't ask in the same sentence for people to share it or if you say so, “I would love any support that you all have on this. Of course, because as you all know, it's hard to sell a book.” But then leave it there, but this wasn't that. This was kind of like individual conversations with people after that on how they could help and you were put in a situation where if you said, “I don't think it's a fit,” then you were just like completely breaking the social contract, why did you even come? But that's unfair because that wasn't what the event was sort of marketed as.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:48] That's another thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:48] Right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:49] Yeah, you’re also trapped in there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:0:45:49] Yeah, if this was a book launch party, “Okay, fine.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:54] Okay, cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:55] This is someone's, I think it was like, I don't even remember the exact context, but I certainly didn't go there even knowing there was a book at all, so that that made it a little bit unfair. And I think for people who don't have books, for example, this can be laid out as really -- every situation is going to be so nuanced that we can't get to them all. But if this person had really thought about his motivations, I guarantee he would've gone, “My motivation is to guilt people into selling a ton of books for me to their influencer list because everybody there was a personality, had a show, an email list to giant Instagram, whatever it was, and it was promoted under the guise of getting to know each other. And I guarantee you that that was not what this person had in mind.
[00:46:36] So if you're thinking about what reason are you having this? If it's to make connections with other people, that's fine. You can be authentic and want to create a connection with other people as long as you don't dig so hard to get them to connect with each other. This was bait and switch and I know that if he, the host had examined his motivations and was honest with himself, he would have found my plan is to get as many influencers in the room as possible. Talk about why this is an emotional thing for me, and then create social pressure so that they sell my book.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:08] The irony is that, it would have been more authentic if he had leaned all the way into that and said, “Everybody in this room is awesome and influential. I just wrote a book and my career depends on how well it sells. It would mean the world to me. If you could help me sell it.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:22] I would have respected that and way more definitely.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:23] Or to go on the other way and just be like, “I just want to tell you how much this book means to me. If you don't to promote it, that's totally cool. I get it. There are a lot of books out there. It's understandable. I just want you to know that this is what I've done and I wanted to share with you.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:38] And we're still friends even if you don’t.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:40] And we're still friends. Yeah, exactly. But in either of those cases, A, there's an extreme level of self-awareness about motivations, which is exactly what we're talking about. And the other is that there's letting go of expectation of result. On the one hand, you're not trying to get people to sell your book. On the other hand, you're asking them to sell it, but you're not going to hold it against them if they don't do it. And I think if you let go of those two things, you really -- it's really hard to go wrong because you're in the right place mentally and emotionally. A lot of what we're talking about right now is context. And that brings us to the third and final principle, which is that if you want to be authentically vulnerable, if you want to avoid this gross manufactured version of it that we've been talking about, it's important to also remember that vulnerability has its time and place. Part of the cult of vulnerability that you've helped me see is that there's this assumption that we need to be more vulnerable everywhere.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:30] Freaking everywhere. Yes, yes, thank you.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:32] So that could be at the office with your colleagues, like that's how you foster teamwork and dedication and loyalty at home with my children, with my parents, with my neighbors at the gym, to the people next to me like, in the locker room. Like wherever you go, it's almost like vulnerability has to be at the same volume and have a layer on every single thing we do. And I agree that we are all in desperate need of more intimacy for sure. That doesn't mean that vulnerability has to exist in every single place we go.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:05] Yeah, I think that you're right, it is part of the cult, absolutely. And there's a lot of social pressure. Again, manufactured just like the dinner party to do this, to reciprocate when people do this. And you see it on social media where it can be fine if that's what you want, just remember you're broadcasting this out to the whole world regardless of whether or not you think, “Oh, I only had my friends and family on Facebook.” There's also the idea that at work this could be wildly inappropriate and if you're thinking I want to change my office culture, you should make sure that that's not going to get you fired. In a very practical sense, there's a lot of places where vulnerability, especially if you expect other people to reciprocate is not a good idea at all.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:49] I totally agree with that, and the degree of vulnerability that we bring to work depends on so many factors like there's context, politics, goals in the workplace, decorum, and also brand. I mean certain companies have an ethos that allows for that kind of vulnerability. Sometimes they depend on it, like if you work at a lifestyle brand or a magazine or if you work as a writer on a television show, then you are automatically expected to be more vulnerable because that's where part of the work comes from. But if you're working at a company that manufacturers routers, it would be a little bit weird if you showed up to work and was like, “I'm going to this a better place by talking to you about what's going on with my mom.” Because that isn't relevant in probably in most cases is not relevant. It's not going to advance the camaraderie of the team. It's not going to foster intimacy in a way that helps the product or the brand. So we have to take into account all of those things. If we don't, then we're kind of walking around as these like open wounds of vulnerability, which is not--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:51] Oozing vulnerability.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:51] Oozing, let’s use every gross word possible to describe it, but we all know people who do come across that way. They might not know it, but that's what happens. I think if you don't take into account those variables, if you think that vulnerability should exist everywhere.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:04] I think that that's absolutely true. Also, parenting is another example. I was talking with Dr. Drew the other day. Parents should not be super open and vulnerable with their kids all the time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:16] All the time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:16] It's completely, it can do a lot of damage, that's not easy to repair. Part of that is the feeling of security. There was a joke from a, I think it was like Kevin Hart or something and he goes, “You don't be open and vulnerable with your kids.” You don't say, “Oh, it's going to be tough to pay the rent this month, Little man. It's going to be really tricky, I don't know how we're going to pull through.” You don't do that. You don't have to do that. You can do that when you're both adults, you know when your kid has kids and you're saying, “Look, when I first had you, dah, dah, dah, then your son can handle it. But when your son is 11 and your daughter's 14, don't talk about how you have no clue what's going on. The security is required there, and that applies to work as well. If you're the CEO of a company, you can say, “Look, I need everyone's buy in. If we're going to make this mission happen, dah, dah, dah,” but what you don't want to say is, “I have no idea how we're going to make payroll next month, thanks everyone for sticking around.” There's a time and a place for it. These are not always going to work out in your favor. You might end up with “Great. Everyone's feeling so vulnerable,” and now everyone's so insecure that they're looking for the exit.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:52:20] Yes, and that is a delicate dance because leadership does depend on vulnerability to some degree. I think especially in environments where the brand and the manager and the product are so interwoven like in a startup environment or in a creative product. I think it can create a lot of love and loyalty if you do open up, but it's hard to calibrate exactly how much vulnerability is too much. Like if you were that CEO, and you were at the moment payroll becomes an issue and you just go out into the bullpen of your office and you're like, “Hey guys, listen. I'm freaking out now because I don't know if you guys are going to get your check next week and things are really hard. I didn't know that building this company,” and you start crying, right? And it's like, well is that going to engender the kind of loyalty that you hope it is, or is that going to sow the seeds of doubt in an organization that needs confidence really, really badly. But then take the same company, same leader, same set of issues. It's the Christmas party and the founder has to make a toast. That could be a perfectly good opportunity to open up a little bit and describe what the year has been like, what the journey has been like, why you started the company, how you felt as you moved through those challenges. In that context with the right amount of vulnerability that could actually lead to the best version of what we hope vulnerability will look like in action. But it's all about taking into account the context just like you do with parenting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:50] So if we do all this authentic vulnerability has a way of developing on its own.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:53:56] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:57] It's just that we have to be very, very aware of our own motivations and calibrate this properly by checking in with ourselves regularly. And finally by looking at the context in which we're sharing all this.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:09] Yeah. And also listening to your instincts and your common sentence, which is what we began with like at that dinner party, we usually have a pretty good internal compass about when our vulnerabilities should appear and how it should operate. So we know when it's an asset and we know when it's a liability and we know when it's like a way to connect and when it's an excuse for self-indulgence. I think we know that. We have a good barometer for that feeling, and I think a lot of this, a lot of what we've been talking about is just listening to that and being self-aware enough to understand when it can help and when it can hurt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:40] Perfect. Thank you so much.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:41] This was awesome. I'm glad we finally got to talk about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:45] Great big thank you to Gabriel Mizrahi. This is an important topic near and dear to my heart, especially since it's being abused so much these days as well. Just bandied around this term vulnerability, and of course, it's extremely important. We're going to be talking about that at our live events that are Advanced Human Dynamics Live Events. One's coming up here in Vegas in November. If you're interested in that, email me, email@example.com or just check out advancedhumandynamics.com and get you some info on that Live Event coming right up.
[00:55:16] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people, manage all these great relationships and get so many opportunities using systems and tiny habits, check out our Six-Minute Networking course which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. A lot of people are going, “Wait, there's only one or two videos?” “No, we released them in pieces.” There are 13 videos. If you only did two, you did not do the whole course, so don't send me a message. It's like I'm waiting for the rest. They're already up there. They are there. You have to do them in pieces so you don't just binge watch 13 videos and then never do anything.
[00:55:49] It's so funny, Jason. A lot of people are trying to make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking which is impossible, and the way they try to make up for lost time is by bingeing and then like not putting anything into practice. That's really silly.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:56:02] That is pretty silly. You got to do the work people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:04] That's right. Dig the well before you're thirsty. These drills are designed to take a few minutes per day. You can't ignore this habit. This is the stuff I wish I knew 10, 15 years ago. Speaking of building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway from Gabriel Mizrahi. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. I'm on the Instagram a little bit more these days. Do little videos, do some Q&A's there, and don't forget if you want to learn how to apply everything you heard from Gabriel and I today, make sure you go grab the worksheets also in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:56:35] This episode was produced and edited by Jason “I'm Still Cold From Camping” DeFillippo. Show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Worksheets by Caleb Bacon. Booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode, so please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. Lots more in the pipeline, very excited to bring it to you. 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.
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