Your mentally ill father has threatened to call the FBI on you because he interprets a photo you took of your three-year-old son with a headband on as somehow “sexualizing” him. How do you even find the right kind of lawyer to preemptively deal with this? We’ll tackle 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:
- Is 2020 really as bad as it seems? Here’s how to gain a reality-based perspective (even if reality’s not seeming so great right now).
- Your mentally ill father has threatened to call the FBI on you because he interprets a photo you took of your three-year-old son with a headband on as somehow “sexualizing” him. How do you even find the right kind of lawyer to preemptively deal with this?
- You’re a landscaper who’s been asked to destroy a cannabis crop being grown by squatters on an absentee landlord’s property. Said landlord doesn’t want the cops involved. In how many ways is it a bad idea to accept this job?
- You’ve always been decent looking and you’re now as healthy and in shape as you were in high school, but being legally blind has kept you from really throwing your hat in the dating ring. What can you do to find your way to romance with someone accepting of your situation?
- You love that you can whip through books, podcasts, and videos at 3x, but it seems to have lowered your tolerance for slow talkers and people who can’t get to the point quickly in a conversation. Should you learn how to take things a little…more…slowly?
- After being laid off, you’re currently in the process of networking and making a career shift. You’ve been able to secure cold calls with higher-ups that seem to have gone well, but how do you move from a cold call toward a job offer?
- 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 if you want to keep in touch with former co-host and JHS family Jason, find him on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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On The Passion Economy podcast, New Yorker writer and NPR’s Planet Money creator Adam Davidson unearths stories from regular people. People who have cracked the code to success in our new economic reality. Catch The Passion Economy here or wherever you listen to fine podcasts!
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Miss our episode with Bar Rescue‘s Jon Taffer? Catch up with episode 142: Jon Taffer | Raising Your Bar and Crushing All Excuses here!
On No Dumb Questions, a science guy from the deep south (Destin of Smarter Every Day) and a humanities guy from the wild west (Matt Whitman of The Ten Minute Bible Hour) discuss deep questions with varying levels of maturity. Give No Dumb Questions a listen here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Mosab Hassan Yousef | The Green Prince of Hamas | TJHS 407
- Chris Hadfield | An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth | TJHS 408
- Why Every Year — But Especially 2020 — Feels Like the Worst Ever | National Geographic
- Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker
- Steven Pinker: Is the World Getting Better or Worse? A Look at the Numbers | TED 2018
- Jennifer Eberhardt | The Science of Why We’re Biased | TJHS 399
- Scientists Have Identified the Actual Worst Year in History | Time
- 1918 Pandemic (H1N1 Virus) | CDC
- Harvard Expert Compares 1918 Flu, COVID-19 | Harvard Gazette
- Don’t Talk to the Police | James Duane, Regent University School of Law
- Joe Navarro | How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People | TJHS 135
- Brain Atrophy in Elderly Leads to Unintended Racism, Depression and Problem Gambling | Science Daily
- Can I Perform a Self-Help Eviction? | Cozy Blog
- How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana | The New Yorker
- Mark Sedlander | Mancini Shenk
- Isaac Lidsky | Eyes Wide Open | TJHS 333
- Which States Have the Fastest Talkers? | Smithsonian Magazine
- Netflix Is Letting People Watch Things Faster or Slower with New Playback Speed Controls | The Verge
- The Irishman | Netflix
- Video Speed Controller | Chrome Web Store
- Six-Minute Networking
Transcript When Your Deranged Dad Calls the FBI on You | Feedback Friday (Episode 409)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my FBF BFF, if you will, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant 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 deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:34] Now, if you're new to the show, on Fridays we give advice to you. We answer your listener questions and smash a White Claw. On 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. And if you want to get a selection of featured episodes to get you started, if you're not sure where to begin, some of our favorite guests and popular topics are on the homepage at jordanharbinger.com. We'll hook you right up there.
[00:00:59] This week, we had Mosab Hassan aka the Green Prince. This was Israel's top informant inside Hamas. Now, he's a friend of mine, which is kind of wild. And Commander. Chris Hadfield also came on the show. This is one from the vault. He's a Canadian national hero. One of the most famous space missions of all time. He's that guy who played guitar in space and did like a whole CD from the International Space Station. Just a crazy good interview in my opinion, really good guests. Make sure you've had a listen to everything we created for you here this week.
[00:01:27] Also, you can reach us for Feedback Friday, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can keep your email concise, that would be great. Bravo. Included a descriptive subject line that does make our job just a lot easier. A lot of people have been writing in by the way lately and saying, "Man, 2020 is the worst year ever, things have never been as bad between COVID and the economy and global warming and Murder Hornets, literally everything horrible happening right now. No country has been spared. China's flooding, et cetera. We're definitely living in some kind of apocalyptic breakdown. But are things actually worse than they've ever been? Is this actually true?
[00:02:03] And Gabriel, we found this national geographic article this week and I was maybe not surprised because I read Steven Pinker's book a long time ago, but the answer is not exactly. Basically, this article explains that yes, we definitely feel worse about the present and the future than we did before. And yes, there are definitely ways in which 2020 is objectively terrible, not going to lie, but our feelings about this moment might not all be attributed to the fact that things are truly getting worse. They can also be attributed to several cognitive biases that are messing with our perception of the world. And as you know, we did a whole show on bias a couple of weeks back with Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt.
[00:02:40] For one thing, when people are struggling with their mental health, for example, they've lost their jobs. They're under lockdown for months on end, that type of stress increases the likelihood that they're going to see the world through the lens of negativity and negativity bias. Everything starts to look terrible. And then we seek out more information that just confirms how terrible things actually are. And before you know it, things are looking the worst and feeling the worst that they've ever been. And on top of that, research shows that people in Western cultures — like you and me and a lot of people listening — we already have a tendency to interpret, present events negatively while preferring the past.
[00:03:14] This is very normal. It happens with every generation. That's why your parents and grandparents talk about how great it was when they were kids, et cetera. One researcher in this NatGeo article, which we'll link in the show notes. He put it this way. We're judging the past on its greatest hits, but we judge the present on everything we have here available, and everything we have available right now is not good. Then you add in the news and the social media on top of that, and you've got this perfect storm. Open up Twitter, open up cnn.com — bam, every sad, horrible, disturbing thing that's happening in the world right now is right there in the palm of your hand. So you're not out playing with your friends and ignoring the news.
[00:03:50] You're hearing about horrible things happening in China. You're hearing about horrible things happening all over the country. Of course, the present seems hopeless. Meanwhile, in the past, we've forgotten most of the details except for the highlights. We don't talk about it nearly as much. That just becomes a happy memory, a set of feelings. I mean, how great does 2019 seem right now? And do you remember how crappy we said 2019 was? 2018?
[00:04:14] I looked at a text message the other day from a friend I haven't talked to in a while. It was from 2018 Gabriel and I said something like, "Ah, 2018 has been like five years long." I remember 2018 being great, but it's one of the most stressful years of my life. Like objectively, it was one of the most stressful years of my life.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:28] Absolutely. Compared to this 2020, it's like a walk in the freaking park. Yeah. That's very interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:33] Yeah, but now I look back and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, 2018. Ah, I miss you." I don't miss 2018. It was awful for me. Just like, I'm going to look back at 2020 and be like, "Oh, I remember," well, hopefully, I'm not going to look back at this year and think how great it was, but that's what everyone thinks about every year. And yes, this is an objectively crappy year for a lot of people. The same bias applies.
[00:04:52] So the question is, how do we avoid this? Is there any way to stay informed without starting to believe that we're living in an irreversible nightmare? And the answer according to this NatGeo article is yes.
[00:05:03] So first, we have to learn how to control our biases. Notice how the media you consume plays with your perceptions. Hopefully, this media, The Jordan Harbinger Show plays with your person in a good way. And we give you a more realistic view of things that are going on. And we don't freak you out. As the article puts it, the media gives our panic prone primate brains, more reasons to feel stressed and more examples of the present to compare with our highly edited version of the past. So, if we can catch our minds falling into that trap, we can take care of those thought patterns as they arise and give ourselves a dose of reality when we really need it.
[00:05:35] And second. We have to be a lot more thoughtful about our social networks and the types of content that we consume. I think that one's pretty self-explanatory. If you're spending six hours a day, doom scrolling on Twitter, getting bad news from the same 12 dramatic people who share your existing beliefs, that is definitely going to skew your opinion of the world and wreak havoc on your mood. Consuming a ton of news — it will add to the sense that the present is worse than the past. So it is important to seek out stories, not just from the present, but from history and compare them to our situation now.
[00:06:07] I mean, look at the pandemic of 1918, the Spanish flu, 500 million people infected a third of the global population, 1.5 billion people, 50 million people died. Compare that to COVID today. 27 million cases, still bad. 875,000 deaths, still really bad, still horrible, still unacceptable, of course. But my point is we feel so much worse about our situation today than we do about life in the early 1900s when we assume it looked like Little House on the Prairie or whatever. Those people had just come off World War 1, they barely understood how germs worked. They didn't know. It's insane. So try to keep in mind how far we've come and how much we have gone for us.
[00:06:47] We have top scientists working on vaccines. We have — for those of you who believe in vaccines, of course, I don't want to assume anything now, like belief in science and reason. We have infrastructure and policies and capital and knowledge and so many assets at our disposal. Are they working the way they should? No. Is everything amazing? Definitely not. But we — I mean, wouldn't you rather be living through a pandemic in 2020 than in 1920? I know I would.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:10] I do now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:10] Cable news —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:11] I do now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:12] You do now, yeah. Cable news would not have us believe this. Okay, just some stuff to think about the next time you find yourself in a depression spiral about the state of the world, things are never totally great. They are rarely as bad as we think they are. So we have to open the aperture a little wider. And remember that we don't have to consume media 24/7 — this podcast is great. It doesn't count. You don't have to consume other media 24/7 to have a good understanding of the world right now.
[00:07:38] In fact, maybe if we consumed, let's consume way less news, way less opinion on the news, way less dooms growling, we'll have a better future. We'll have a better world right now. We'll have better — we'll have a better set of feelings about where we live right now.
[00:07:53] All right. We've got a great Feedback Friday for you. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag? Speaking of doom scrolling and bad news, let's talk about some other people's bad news so we can have a little, not shot for fun, but just realize how great our lives really are.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:06] Hi Jordan, I need some advice regarding a tense and bizarre situation with my father. My family and I have been under a strict quarantine for the last couple of weeks in order to see my wife's parents who are at high risk. During this quarantine, we sent lots of pictures to extended family we couldn't see. In response to one particular text, my father responded by saying, "Great pictures! Except for the one where your son is in drag."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:28] Hell, creepy.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:30] In the picture in question, my son had a headband on which for a three-year-old was completely harmless and had nothing to do with drag. For a long time, my father has had close-minded views and has made some bigoted comments, but never against my family. This caused a fight during which my father suggested that my wife gets a kick out of "sexualizing" our son, which is completely ridiculous. This is part of a larger pattern with him. In the past, he's inappropriately suggested that my mother had a sexual relationship with a minor, and he certainly seems like he has some mental health issues, especially when it comes to sex.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:02] This is so creepy. This is weird as hell.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:05] More recently, my father reached out to me directly and asked if I would join him in person for something after our quarantine. I declined as his behavior was unacceptable and I would not be seeing him until we resolved it. He went off again, suggesting that he wasn't the one who took sexual pictures. I said there are no sexual pictures. He threatened me by suggesting the FBI get involved to determine that. At which point, I said that I would not communicate with him anymore. There's really no case here, but my dad can sometimes be very manipulative and I'm worried that he will get the authorities involved. Well, I have no concerns about what they'd find. I keep thinking it would be good practice for me to get a lawyer to ensure I get ahead of this so that it doesn't impact my or my wife's work. So here's the question. How do you find a lawyer that would specialize in something like this and what steps should I take if he starts causing problems? Signed, Dodging my Deranged Dad.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:53] So this creeps me out because there's people with mental illness and they bug you and they're in your family. But the fact that this is so weirdly sexual and it's like involving your son, who's three. It just gives me like the creepiest shivers. Look, there's nothing here that leads me to believe that you need a lawyer. Actually, if he continues to harass you, I'd recommend a restraining order. I wouldn't engage. It just keeps the conversation and going we know from Joe Navarro — his episode on this show, which I recommend you listen to. We'll link to it in the show notes. Joe Navarro says that you have to cut off people like this. You can't feed the trolls as it were. You can't fan the flames. If he continues to reach out, then you can find a lawyer to respond to, but you really don't need one.
[00:10:34] So first of all, never talk to the police directly with stuff like this. Look, you can, it's nothing to be afraid of. Generally, you should never talk directly to the police because things can get misconstrued. The record can get all messed up. I'm not saying it because the police are bad guys or anything like that. I know there's a narrative of that right now, but you really don't need to talk to the police. Always politely decline if the police reach out to you and lawyer up. But I don't think they're going to reach out to you.
[00:11:00] What you can do right now if it will make you feel better, find a criminal lawyer first, just in the yellow pages, get a quick call going, so you're not panicking, but you don't have to do anything. There's no action you need to take other than that. I would ignore your crazy dad. He's negative. He's insane. Look, not my professional opinion, he's being negative and acting insane.
[00:11:19] The cost-benefit of writing a legal letter is not good. So don't write a letter. Your dad knows it's illegal, or maybe doesn't know, but we'll know soon. It's illegal to make a false report. So unless he's batshit crazy, he's not going to make a false report to law enforcement. Your dad has every right to report crime — all of us have every right to report an actual crime. The reason you shouldn't write a letter is law enforcement doesn't like to hear someone was threatened, not to report. You don't want to have anything that looks like, "If you report this, I'm going to sue you and I'm going to make you, sorry. Law enforcement, the courts don't like anything that looks like the threat of prosecution to get someone to be quiet. It'll look like you're threatening someone for reporting a crime or threatening to report an actual crime.
[00:12:04] If you do write a letter, if you just must do this, our lawyer has ethical considerations to take into account. He can reference 18 USC 1001, which essentially says, "Hey, if you make a false statement to a federal agent, it's five to eight years in federal prison." That's the second one of the US code where they get people where they can't really nail them to anything, but they can catch them online to the FBI. They'll get you for that. It's an easy case to prove because you basically have to just prove one false statement and then they can say, "Hey, your honor, we strongly suspect this person is up to no good. They're doing a lot of stuff. It's going to be really tough and expensive to get all the evidence. Let's get them on one or two counts of lying to the FBI." And they'll either cooperate, plead out whatever. You don't really want to feed the trolls and you don't really want to get on the offensive here.
[00:12:49] But look, it sounds like your dad has some stuff going on. Age might be making it worse. I want to acknowledge that this might be really painful for you when a parent is suffering like this. He sounds like he might even have some sexual trauma of his own. It can be really upsetting. I get the sense from your letter that you're really angry with your dad, but you're also worried, you're confused. You might even be pretty scared about what's going on with your dad. I certainly would be. And I feel for you because of that. I can also tell you that you really want to protect your kid. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone. I still don't think a lawyer needs to be involved at this point. If there's really nothing going on here, you have no reason to worry if the FBI ever does call you or come to your house. Maybe make sure you're not keeping any weed around or something if you think they're going to roll up. But honestly, the FBI is not going to cart you off because you've got some sticky icky in your kitchen drawer. They're not going to take your son away if they don't find anything threatening or harmful to him. I just want to reassure you here. Again if they do call you or they do come over, lawyer up right away, but they're not going to that.
[00:13:51] I do think it's also wise to protect your son from his grandfather. I would not let your son be alone with him, probably goes without saying. You're not even talking to him right now, so I'm not too worried about it, but this is just giving off weird flags. Like why is he focused on this? Totally bizarre none issue.
[00:14:08] I don't know. Gabe, what do you think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:10] Yeah, I mean, it's interesting that the letter was initially asking about how to find a lawyer, whether to find a lawyer, but I'm more concerned about getting his dad some help, I think. He sounds a little paranoid. He sounds vaguely delusional if that's fair to say. I wonder if it's gotten worse with age as you point out. You know, as you age, your frontal lobe deteriorates, as we all know, and your executive functioning starts to go, right? That's why, when you have a crazy uncle at Thanksgiving dinner, you can't control every opinion that occurs to him. He just has to get it out that might explain his lack of judgment, his lack of self-censoring when it comes to some of these more disturbing thoughts.
[00:14:43] If he's willing, could you get him a psych eval or a medical workup, just a basic medical workup. I think that would give both you and your dad some more information to work with. Because if there is something there, something that would explain some of this behavior, it would be much easier to talk about. And it would be a lot more productive to bring up with him than just saying, "Hey dad, you're freaking me out with this crazy sex talk, like stop it. Or I'm not going to let you come into my house," or whatever. By the way, is your mom still alive? Is she still involved in the family? Could she be part of the solution if she is, that would be really helpful. So you don't have to shoulder this alone. You haven't mentioned her, so maybe she's not in the picture, but just want to call that out.
[00:15:18] Jordan. I'm curious to know. What's the truly upsetting thing here? Is it that his dad is becoming unhinged? Or is it that he's judging this guy or is it that he's forcing his son sexual identity into some kind of box, you know, and shaming, both him and his son for it, even though it sounds like it's really not about that at all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:37] Yeah. It's just creepy, weird stuff. Look, Gabe, if I see a picture of a kid and he's wearing mom's lipstick and a wig, I don't think, "Your son is dressed in drag. Oh, that's funny."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:48] Yeah, he's playing —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:49] He's just playing around.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:50] — and he is having fun.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:50] I don't think like, "Oh, your son is a young gay man at age three." Like it doesn't — that's a weird conclusion, that's unhealthy and it's bizarre. It's not right. It's not something that normal people conclude from looking at things like that. And that wasn't even what we're looking at. The kid was wearing a bandana.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:16:07] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:08] Just a complete, ridiculous illogical leap from one thing to another, to like a weird sexuality thing. That's what's freaking me out about this.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:16:16] Yeah. I mean, initially, I was going to chalk it up to a generational divide or a cultural divide. You know, your grandfather who comes from a different time and very, hyper-masculine very rigid. You see a boy putting on lipstick or wearing a headband, you assume that something weird was going on, but then he said that there was all this other stuff going on, where he's made some bigoted comments and he's sort of talked about sexual stuff. He's accused the mom of having sex with a minor. I wonder how that played out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:40] Yeah. Also a minor like that. You're having an affair. You're also having sex with a minor, like what's your obsession with minors, like young people and sex.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:16:47] There was an obsession going on here that seems to be projecting out a lot of concerns that he has inside himself. And I don't mean to put him in a chair. That's a little unfair but I'm just noticing a little bit of a pattern in this letter about this guy sort of pointing his finger at a lot of other people, for things that they're not even doing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:03] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:03] But that are very real inside his own mind. So I would get clear on what you want to protect your son from. It sounds like it's about protecting him emotionally from your dad. If he's around him and the dad says something hurtful or inappropriate, or just like totally off the reservation and way before he should even be bringing that stuff up with him, at least for now that's the issue. So how can you manage those boundaries? How can you manage those expectations with your dad to keep your son protected? I think that's what we're really talking about. That could be limiting the time that he spends with him. It could be not letting him be alone with your son when he comes over if he comes over. Or it could be saying something like, "I want you to spend time with your grandson. I want to be in your life, but I'm really concerned about your health. And I want you to see a doctor first," and trying to get him some help.
[00:17:45] Drawing a boundary — we talk about this all the time on Feedback Friday because it's such a recurring theme, it's so tough. But it is necessary and your dad will react to that boundary in some kind of way. You have to decide whether you're willing to tolerate the discomfort of your dad's reaction and uphold that boundary despite it. Ultimately, the way he reacts to you drawing the line will say more about him than about you, but it is going to happen. And look, these boundaries can change. If your dad seeks help, if he gets better, if you guys have a conversation and start to work on some of this stuff that can change down the line. But what we're really talking about is what kind of relationship do you want to have with your dad and what boundaries are you willing to draw to manage that relationship and keep your son away from this, frankly, this craziness.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:28] Yeah, I think that's healthy. I don't really know what's going on here, but it doesn't sound right. Like if your dad hasn't always been super bizarre like this, maybe something else is going on and it would be good to get a handle on that. You know you don't want to find out later that he's got some sort of brain tumor, that's making him act weird and you never looked into it cause you were pissed off at him. Stuff like that can happen too. It's a little far fetched she's possibly just being an asshole, but you know it doesn't hurt to check if he's willing to even do it.
[00:18:56] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:21:20] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:21:25] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:27] Hey, Jordan. I need some advice on the weirdest work request I've ever received. I was contacted recently by a friend of a friend who owns a rural property in Southern California. He lives in Costa Rica and when he came back for a visit, he found a new lock on his gate and a group of people growing a lot of marijuana. They told them they leased the property for $30,000 from some guy. They don't have the proper permits to grow so many plants. The property owner is trying to keep the law out of it because if the law gets involved, he'll only have 10 days to destroy all of the plants. Apparently, in California, the property owner is the one who would be punished legally and financially for this not the grower. So he's posted a three-day or quit notice to hopefully make them leave the property, but they've made no attempts at dealing with the situation. I'm a landscaper and he's asked me to eradicate the marijuana if they don't.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:13] No way. Oh my gosh. Okay.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:17] My dilemma is I don't know what these people are capable of. I don't know how much time and money they stand to lose if the crop is destroyed. I also don't know who they might be supplying or growing for. I feel like it would be fairly safe if there were a police presence while I was there working but the property owner doesn't want the law involved. I really don't want to get injured because someone is guarding their financial future. What would you do? Sincerely, From Landscaping to Land Scraping.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:42] Okay. Wow. So much wrong with this one. I'm really glad you wrote in, or you might be in some serious hot water or just, you know, dead — run, don't walk away from this job. There are a couple of big reasons for absolutely not doing this gig. One in Landlord-Tenant Law — again, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, et cetera. This is not legal advice. In Landlord-Tenant Law, there's a doctrine called no self-help — not the good kind of self-help. It means no taking things into your own hands. So no changing locks, no blocking access to the road of the driveway or the property, or you're cutting off the water or the electricity. You can't destroy property. That sort of thing, the stuff you're describing here. The cannabis is the property of the subletter even if they're growing it illegally.
[00:23:27] Also that's evidence. If this turns into a criminal case — what you don't want to hear from the police and the prosecutor is, "Where's all the cannabis?" "Oh, we'd whacked it and then I burned it on site," which is why the neighbors have all been watching Netflix and ordering Chinese takeout for the last week and a half. I mean, also, this is dangerous, man. I'll get into that in a little bit here.
[00:23:46] But you are liable potentially if you destroy this cannabis because you're aware of it, right? If this turns into something else like a criminal prosecution, you don't even want to be on the radar as somebody who might've helped the criminals grow it or dispose of it in any way at all. You're aware of it right now, but no one knows who you are, besides me and "I ain't going to say shit, man." You're also not really aware of it personally because you haven't seen it. And for all, anyone knows you didn't believe your friend when he asked you to get rid of a field full of marijuana because he's a big joker and you just laughed the whole thing off and you never did anything else, like write into this podcast and ask for advice.
[00:24:24] As I mentioned before, it is illegal to destroy the crop on behalf of the landlord. You are supposed to go through law enforcement and the courts for things like this. There is no sort of self-defense doctrine or anything in Landlord-Tenant Law. That self-help is strictly prohibited in pretty much every instance.
[00:24:41] Also, man, this could be called a cartel operation. Yes, it's Southern California. Yes, things are legalized here. That doesn't stop a grow operation from being gang or cartel affiliated. These guys or girls — I don't want to assume the gender of our esteemed drug traffickers in this example here. They could be armed and dangerous. In fact, they probably do have armed security, either legit or not. Gangsters are legit qualified security. This is a $30,000 a month rental operation. They are probably growing at least a six-figure crop, multiple six-figure crops. If I'm growing that much cannabis. I have thugs keeping an eye on stuff, legal crop or not. And even if it's totally illegal and there's nobody at the house, you could still be civilly liable for destroying something that is not yours. And they probably at the very, very, very least have cameras there, if not dogs, thugs and whatever else, any sensible cash crop grower is going to have on the property.
[00:25:35] I know from the people that grow up north in Humble, there are armed people guarding these properties. Because if people know what they're doing, they will come by to a property, especially one that is not occupied. They will flush it with water, cut everything professionally, and leave before you get there and every grower knows this. So they keep people in the property at all times. And people who've been robbed before and lost a hundred plus thousand dollars or more in marijuana, they don't keep a 17-year-old kid there or two, smoking and reading all day. They keep people there who are armed because they know that that's 17-year-old is just going to run and maybe have the foresight to call the sheriff on the way out, who's going to take an hour and a half to get there if not more — if they ever even go and they go, "Yeah. Problem is you got robbed. Yeah. That's what happened here. All right, I'll write it down on a piece of paper." They're going to keep people there that know how to stop the robbery from happening in the first place. That means those people are there, they're tough. They're used to dealing with other people. They are very likely armed, legal or not like I said.
[00:36:35] Now that all being said, your landlord buddy, he needs criminal defense representation ASAP. You need or he needs to hire a lawyer and contact law enforcement via the lawyer, not themselves, immediately because doing stuff so contacting law enforcement, especially via your attorney is evidence of not participating in the crime itself. So there is something to be said for, "Hey, I'm having my lawyer call and say, 'My client is having this problem. He doesn't know what to do.'" Don't make any statements to law enforcement yourself. Your landlord buddy should never actually speak to the police about this himself. He should refer every communication through his attorney.
[00:27:12] You know how the police say, "Anything you say can and will be held against you." Lawyers are different because they are not being arrested. They're not being Mirandized. That's what that's called. They represent you. They can speak for you, but they can't say things that you yourself are saying. They can speak on your behalf. They take away any chance, however, small, that's something you say can be used against you. The government, so police and prosecutors, they cannot use lawyers, statements, or admissions against you in court. It's called hearsay. There's an evidence rule that prohibits people.
[00:27:42] So for example, if I'm doing something illegal and Gabriel hears that I'm doing it because I told him. He can't say, "Yeah, Jordan said that he robbed that bank." That's hearsay. It's not admissible evidence. The government — the police and the prosecutors — they can use lawyer statements or attorney statements to further the investigation. You know, they can say, "Okay, we strongly suspect it's Jordan because his friend Gabriel ratted them out," but they can't use that against me in court. You didn't say it yourself. That's one big reason. The hearsay rule of evidence exists in the first place to stop people from speaking on your behalf, talking out of their wazoo and incriminating you in a way that's unfair in a court of law.
[00:28:19] Another reason that your landlord buddy needs a lawyer, possibly also a landlord-tenant lawyer, not just a criminal lawyer is because the official tenant, the legal tenant who allowed the sublease in the first place, he's also in violation of the lease and of the law. And I'm sure multiple provisions of that lease as well. You and your landlord buddy need to document everything that's going on. Everything that you're doing from when you discovered the crime to call the attorney — what you know, what you don't know, what you're not sure, what you're speculating, what you've seen for yourself. Show this info to the lawyer. Do not show it to the police directly, of course. Your lawyer can handle that. You want your lawyer to be in control and be able to control the narrative here as much as possible.
[00:29:02] So remember don't resort to self-help. Don't take matters into your own hands. Get representation, a lawyer, ASAP because right now, your landlord buddy is collecting rent for an illegal activity for which she is aware. You're going to want to put a stop to that or you're being complicit by accepting the money. I won't tell your buddy not to accept rent anymore. I bet you his lawyer is going to tell him to stop taking rent or maybe the tenants pay it to the attorney and some sort of escrow account or something like that, some sort of trust. Your landlord buddy, he's going to want to avoid profiting off of a crime after becoming aware that the crime is taking place. That's how you're complicit. You're going to want to avoid that at all costs.
[00:29:40] Thanks to Mark Sedlander of Mancini Shenk law firm down in LA for his help with this one. You might even want to have your landlord buddy contact, Mancini Shenk. They're pretty good at what they do. These are friends of mine. They've been in business for a long time. We'll link to them in the show notes.
[00:29:55] This is a problem for which you need a lawyer to be ahead of it, not reacting to it. And you certainly don't want to destroy drug dealers' crops on your own, just to try and take matters into your own hands. That's the worst possible idea.
[00:30:07] All right, Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:08] Hey guys, I'm 33 years old and legally blind. It's not great. I dealt with some depression and anxiety when I was younger as a result. I also had psoriasis and arthritis because of chronic inflammation due to my diet, which didn't help with the depression. Over the last few years, though, I've really turned things around for myself. I cut sugar, most carbs and processed foods. I'm in as good a shape as I was when I was in high school. I have a good job that I love and I just finished paying off my house this year. The one part of my life where I still can't make any ground though is in my relationships with women. I'm not a bad looking guy. I'm 6'3". I have a full head of hair and as I mentioned, I'm very healthy now. Back in my college days, I did decently well for myself on that front. But in the last six to seven years, I haven't been on many dates and my confidence is really lacking because of my eyesight. A lot of the standard advice is, to tell the truth, be honest, and just ask someone out. So I did that with a girl I've known for a while and she flat out told me she wasn't interested and that's completely blown me off. It didn't destroy me like it would have when I was younger, which is good, but I really don't have any options. And I feel like I'm ready to take the next step in my life. I signed up for online dating, but I don't know how to address my blindness. I feel like I'll be written off immediately if I'm upfront about it. But I also don't want to keep this thing hidden. It's kind of a paradox. I need to boost my confidence with dating, but it's a blow to my confidence if I'm honest about my situation. What approach should someone in my situation take? Do I just have to expose myself to potential rejection over and over again? Are there any obvious things I'm doing wrong? I really do try to stay positive, but no woman grows up dreaming of being with a man who can't drive and can't do a lot of the things that come with my condition and it will only get worse with age. Thanks for your show. You guys help a lot of people. Signed, Struggling to See The Light.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:48] First of all, congratulations on taking charge of your health, like this. You're taking care of your body. You're taking care of your mind. It sounds like it wasn't easy and you've come a really long way. And that's amazing, man. I'm telling you one of the hardest things to do in life is to own the variables that we do control even when we're dealing with huge variables that we do not control. Like for example, whether we can see. It's really impressive, man. I want to hand it to you. You should be proud of that.
[00:32:13] Second — and as I've said before on Feedback Friday, we have to acknowledge that a person with a disability navigates the world in a different way from other people. That's just a fact. Blind people deal with problems that are very real, very challenging at times. So for me to just sit back and say, "Don't worry about it, bro, Just tell people you're blind. If they can't handle it, screw them, move on. It's only a problem if you make it a problem." That's some crap you hear from an Instagram life coach. That would be ridiculous. Frankly, it's insensitive.
[00:32:40] I hear what a blow this has been to your confidence, and I understand how conflicted you are about owning and addressing your disability. The reality is being blind is a challenge for you often because other people sometimes perceive it to be a challenge for them rightly or wrongly, which really sucks. It is what it is. You're not going to change everyone else. So the answer, obviously, isn't to pretend the problem does not exist. The answer is to change your relationship with your disability, learn to integrate it into your sense of self, and then develop some practical ways to make it work for you as best as you can.
[00:33:13] Here are a few thoughts on how to do that. And I don't have all the answers, but first I think — well, I just pretend to on Fridays — I think you really need to own and process everything that this disability brings up for you. That means acknowledging what being blind has been like for you, facing the fears and anxieties that it creates, understanding how this disability is shaping your identity, your thoughts, your sense of self. I'm also curious to know how your blindness has been treated outside of the dating context. How have your friends and family's reactions shaped the way that you feel about being blind? When you're rejected from anything, do you attribute it all to your blindness or are there other aspects of you like your relational patterns with women, for example, that are playing a role here. Be honest about all of this to yourself and talking about it with other people.
[00:33:59] That's really important right now. I noticed that you said you really do try to stay positive. I admire that. I really do, but I think it's important not to deny what it is that you're experiencing to not use that positivity as a form of avoidance invalidation, denial of the very real challenges that you are working through. I think that talking to a therapist could be really helpful here to work through the deeper stuff that a disability brings up. There are therapists and psychologists who specialize in patients with disabilities, illnesses, chronic pain issues like that. These psychologists can help you learn to accept this disability integrated, not allow it to be the entirety of your identity, but just a part of who you are and live a full life in the presence of this limitation.
[00:34:41] These people go by a few different names — I think health psychologist, behavioral medicine psychologist, rehab psychologist. Definitely look into that. Like I said, you've come a very long way in your mental health. So I actually think you're in pretty good shape, but it sounds to me like you still have tremendous conflict around your situation, which is totally understandable. Until you deal with that, it's going to be hard to present yourself in the best possible way to potential partners. And again, this is true of everyone, not just to people with a disability. Depression is depression. Anxiety is anxiety. Fear is fear. I think everyone listening right now is relating to these deeper feelings even if they're not legally blind. I know I certainly can.
[00:35:20] As you work through this emotional and cognitive stuff, ideally with a professional, I think you're going to find it easier to relate to other people. Then, if you call out your blindness from the get-go, you're going to be dealing with way less conflict and fear. And if you don't call it out immediately, you're going to be leading with a more secure sense of self. So this catch 22 you're caught in — do I keep it a secret, build my confidence, or do I tell people and hurt my confidence? A lot of that's going to be resolved by how you feel about yourself and how you approach your disability. Maybe rejection won't be as painful. Maybe people won't reject you as often because you're approaching them more authentically — I hate that word. Every time I say it I just want to slap myself in the face.
[00:36:00] Also I wonder if you've tried dating other blind people, maybe a dumb question. That's got to remove a lot of the challenges of dating a sighted person, but I also know that you probably want to be able to date lots of different people. I get it. I don't think you need to limit yourself.
[00:36:13] It reminds me of a funny story. I spotted a friend of mine — this is years ago, I spotted a friend of mine in Vegas and I said, "Hey, what are you doing here? I'm going out to brunch." And he's like, "Yeah. I'm eating brunch here too." And I said, "Why don't we be together, man? What's going on?" He goes, "I'm with the group," and I go, "Oh, okay. No, no problem." And he saw that I was kind of feeling like, "Oh, well, okay. You're with your cool friends." And he goes, "All right, here's the thing. I'm at a herpes dating club. We're having brunch. You're welcome to join us. Maybe I don't mention it's a herpes dating club." And I was like, "Oh, sure." And it totally makes sense. Right? People who have herpes have to kind of be careful who they're dating cause it's contagious. And so it was like this whole thing. And I went and sat at the table and everybody was cool and nice and it was just a thing. It was just a huge group of people that kind of didn't talk about it. And it became a nonissue because everybody had the same issue. And since that was out of the way, they could just be cool and normal and that was it. Not that you have something that's contagious or is like — you know, look, there's an unfair stigma on being both blind and having herpes, I think. And that is an unfair stigma.
[00:37:12] My friend, by the way, he got it because his wife, his ex-wife cheated on him with somebody. She got it and gave it to him. That really sucks, right? And as my buddy says, "Don't worry, man. It's not a big deal. If I didn't have herpes by now, I'd have herpes by now." So I think that's a good way to look at it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:30] It's funny that the story actually illustrates how important it is to process what it is and sort of learning how to own it. I mean, that sounds to me like somebody who's thought about it and figured out a way to —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:40] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:40] I don't want to say live with it because it's not a death sentence and it's really —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:43] No.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:37:44] I would also say that over the last five, 10 years, I feel like as a culture, we've really come a long way in de-stigmatizing herpes among other things, but like the fact that he could sort of joke about it in that way, speaks to the fact that he probably processed a lot of the feelings he had around him, especially given how he got it. That's a pretty terrible way to get it and have to —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:03] So bad.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:03] — deal with something you probably never thought you would have to deal with. So I think that it was super sound advice, Jordan. Ultimately, I think this guy's goal is to work through this disability until he realizes that it does not define him. Yes, it will always affect him, sometimes in major ways. Sometimes in ways that are painful because other people's feelings and biases and preferences can be hurtful. Let's be honest. But that doesn't mean that blindness is you. You have blindness, but that doesn't mean that all you are is a blind person. You're a person who has a lot to offer other people. I really feel that from your letter. You have a serious commitment to growing as a human being. I love that. Like, you said, you have a full head of hair. Awesome. The more you can work on the issues surrounding blindness, the more I think you can get out of your own way and share yourself with other people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:50] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:38:55] This episode is sponsored in part by The Passion Economy podcast. This show is hosted by Adam Davidson. He created Planet Money. You may have heard of that, a really good show. He's also spent a lot of time covering kind of dark sad stories about the economy. This is different. This is a little more optimistic. We're in a weird time. The economy can be confusing and unpredictable, and frankly, scarier than ever before. But the same economy just might offer us some unprecedented opportunity to do some really cool stuff. On The Passion Economy podcast, Adam Davidson speaks to people who have done just that by channeling their unique passions and interests into successful businesses. You'll hear from a top-tier chef who took a giant risk, so he could make perfect ice cream. A former drug dealer who used his time in prison to develop a business idea — so unique, no one will ever compete with him. And an author who found the perfect story, turned it into a thriving whiskey brand — it sounds like he just drank a bunch, but you know what? I'm not going to judge you. I get it. All of these people have something to teach us and show just how exciting The Passion Economy can be. So check out The Passion Economy today, wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:39:57] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online counseling. I love better help. I'm a huge fan of therapy. There's essentially an apocalyptic state of the world right now. And you can wake up in the Bay area to a gloomy sky, raining ash, no sunlight, no birds chirping, depending on where you are. If you're in Michigan, it's just probably — or Colorado where it's like snowing, raining. I don't even know. I don't even know. Not even Colorado knows what's going on right now. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors who are trained to listen and help. It's safe. You can do it from your own home and your safe room or whatever, from the bed, wherever you're comfortable, video chat, phone. Difficulty sleeping, relationship issues, pretty much anything across the board. I don't want to give you a shopping list, because I don't want to give anybody any ideas of what might be wrong with them. That's not my job. It's a little above my pay grade. Better Help can help you with that. Fill out a questionnaire. You get a counselor in a couple of days, schedule your sessions. If you don't like your counselor, just get a new one, no additional charge. A million-plus people are taking charge of their mental health with Better Help counselors. They're hiring in all 50 states, so get on that train.
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[00:42:26] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:42:30] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:32] Hey J's, I've always been the kind of person who cannot stay focused in class type settings, meetings, and conversations, though you wouldn't know it with my performance and my grades. Now, with digital media, I'm loving the increased speed, you can listen to things. I now find myself devouring books, podcasts, and YouTube videos at 3X speeds. Here's the problem though. I cannot listen to people talk unless they speak quickly and get to the point. If they don't, I find myself crawling out of my skin and getting highly frustrated. I know this is my problem, and I do try to actively stop. But then I find myself thinking ahead of the conversation instead of being present. I think I project the frustration on that for other people when in reality, I'm frustrated at myself. In case you're wondering, I grew up in Florida, currently live in New England and I am in my mid-40s. I'm not on any medication or substances besides a few drinks now and again. Should I stop listening to things at faster speeds? How can I fix this? Signed, Stymied by Slow Talking Saps.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:29] Well, it's good to know you're not on any medication or substances because that would have been my first guess. It does sound to me like there's a neurological component to this. It might be worth to consult with a psychiatrist to possibly diagnose. Also worth, at least a few sessions with a therapist to find out if there are any other causes. You probably already did this. But certainly, to explore the feelings of anger and frustration and the struggle to be present, I wonder if maybe you struggled to click in because you are avoiding certain feelings of being connected to somebody, or if you're preoccupied by other feelings you might not even be consciously aware of. I could also be overthinking this.
[00:44:03] I also did some digging into the fast-talking states, like the United States of America in each individual state. As you might imagine, the slowest talkers tend to be in the South Mississippi slowest talking state in the union. The fastest talking state is actually Oregon. I thought it was going to be New York. But it's Oregon, followed by Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Kansas, which I didn't see coming. Florida where you're from is actually 17th. So definitely towards the top of the fast-talking list. California by comparison is right in the middle at 23, which explains why I get so frustrated with people. I typically talk at 2X for a lot of people that listen to podcasts. At 2X, they usually tank it down to 1.5. I take that as a compliment. That means you're probably listening to this podcast at 1.5 or even two right now.
[00:44:46] So upbringing might have something to do with it, but it sounds like there's a little more to it than that. I'm also like this, like I said, it's tough. I find myself getting impatient with friends and family. It can be really hard for me to focus on. I sometimes snap at people when they're slow. If they can't finish the sentence, it really irks me. I find myself almost wanting to just clap and be like, "Hello," it doesn't do me any favors. It never works for me. And I find that distractions like this — it's like a workout for your focus. You know, you just have to keep bringing yourself back to it. It doesn't make it any easier, but it does get easier over time.
[00:45:21] Gabe, since I've already proven myself bad at this exact same thing, I'm curious what you have to say about getting inpatient during a conversation.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:28] Interesting. I didn't know that you struggled with this as much as you do, although I do know that you listen to books at like 5X.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:34] Yeah. I listened at 3X, 2.5X, depending on the book, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:38] That's wild. Well, I do think that this guy could practice by catching himself drifting and bring his attention back to the conversation at hand, the present moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:47] Boring. Speed it, Gabe.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:50] It is a form of everyday meditation. Noticing your thoughts, starting to wander, bringing them back, but in everyday contexts in everyday conversation. I wonder if listening to things at slower or normal speeds would help to sort of retrain his brain if that's even possible. See if that helps. But I don't think the podcast speed thing is causing this. It sounds to me like it was sort of there before that, and this just made it possible for him to indulge the desire for everything to go by fast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:14] Honestly, I did listen into a book at 1X. There's a special place in — if I go to hell, it's going to be a place where I'm listening to audiobooks at 1X and they're like, "Hi. Thanks for buying our audiobook from Kindle. We hope—" I'm immediately like, "Speak faster." I get really irked by that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:34] Especially with self-help books, right? When there's like —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:36] My God.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:37] — a word from our publisher.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:39] Oh, just hate that. Like, I don't care what your publisher has to say. Really don't care. If he's going to say it at 3X.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:45] I do think it would be smart to see a psychiatrist or a doctor to find out if there is some kind of medical diagnosis, talk to a therapist. Yes. Deeper other causes, feelings that it brings up. Even if you can't fix the underlying thing, you can learn how to cope with it and figure out why this gets you so riled up. Like that's what I would be most interested in. I do think that anybody in this situation could choose to be a little more patient and a little more kind when people are talking slower than they'd like. I know you're mentally punching me in the head right now, dude, for saying that, but it is true. Expecting the world to conform to your precise needs at every moment is irrational. And let's be honest, looking at you Jordan, kind of narcissistic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:23] A little bit narcissistic, yeah. Chop, chop, Gabe, let's go.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:27] We obviously disagree on this. That's okay. I'm going to talk even slower to piss you off as I conclude this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:32] It's working, definitely working.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:34] I would meet people where they are. I would try to appreciate the way that they communicate, even if it's not exactly how you prefer to be spoken to. And remember that they might be just as frustrated by you not listening to them as you are frustrated by them not talking faster.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:47] That's a pretty good point. That's a pretty good point. I had not thought about people being as frustrated with me being like, I can actually check my email in between your words, because you're so slow. That had not occurred to me, that other people — speaking of narcissistic, it never occurred to me how other people perceive this particular situation.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:06] I love when somebody writes in with a letter that you could have written to us to try to dissect but I do —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:10] Yeah maybe I am —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:12] But you know what?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:13] — Stymied By Slow-Talking Saps.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:15] You might be. It sounds like you are. It sounds like your wife right now. But I also think that this guy's not alone and the fact that we can listen to things faster does not help. I mean, it's training us to be able to listen to things the way we want, as opposed to the way other people intended us to listen to them. That's a problem.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:29] Did you see that whole controversy about how Netflix was thinking about offering 1.5 and 2X?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:34] Yup. I was just thinking about that. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:36] Judd Apatow or some other sort of Hollywood, you know, what? was like, "We're going to win. We're not going to allow this." And everyone was like, "Dude, what if I want to catch up on something I've already seen? And I'm trying to rewatch the last season or I'm reviewing something. Hello." And like, "He had no response to that." It was like, "Everything has to be viewed the way that I intended it, et cetera, et cetera." It's an interesting sort of attention, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:58] It is super interesting. I'm going to come across as a total Hollywood a-hole right now and say that I agree with him. I think that it's a little bit different when it comes to a YouTube video or a book, although you could argue that a book is just as meaningful to the author as a TV show is to Judd Apatow. But I think what the difference is that when you make art, you make it in the way that you intend people to consume it. So if you're trying to make this really beautiful movie and then Netflix who did not physically produce the movie, who did not write it, who did not direct It, says, "I'm going to give people the option to watch it twice as fast." I think that could be messing with the artist's vision. And I know that sounds really highfalutin, but I actually do think that there's something to be said for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:35] I agree. I think about it, like, what if I just want to rewatch the last season of Game of Thrones bec ause I'm about to watch like the finale and I'm like, "Oh my God, it's been six months."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:43] Yeah, that's fair.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:44] You know.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:45] I can understand that. I get that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:46] You're not forcing people to watch it at 2X. You're just offering them the option. It ruins it if you watch everything at that speed. Most people are not going to watch things the first time at 2X.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:57] It's interesting. I see what you're saying. You're saying it's not telling them they have to. It's just giving them the choice. But to artists, they feel like if you give people the choice to watch it, you're not just giving them a choice to consume it differently. You're giving them the choice to change my thing, but I made it
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:09] so should people be able to listen to podcasts at 2X?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:12] I don't know. Now, I'm starting to wonder because I'm like, what's the difference really between. Like, if someone's listening to this, they're like, "Fucking Gabe is just talking so goddamn slowly."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:19] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:20] I should be able to listen to this faster. And I will like, why is that different from watching the Irishman, which to be fair, it's like three hours long. If there's ever a movie that you probably want to get through faster, it might be that one. So I don't know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:30] Yeah, because you and I are speaking as fast as we can talk. Right? So naturally, I think very quickly, so I speak very quickly. No, but I mean, I'm speaking at the speed of thought. You don't have to wait for me to think of things. If you're consuming it, you should be able to consume it at the speed that you can consume it. Whereas I could only produce it at the speed, which I can produce it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:49] That's a really good point. That's a good point.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:50] If you listened to five of the episodes of The Jordan Harbinger Show in a week, "Hey, I only produce three. Why are you listening to five?" Good. I want you to listen to 10, listen to 20 a week. Good. I'm not going to throttle you because that's the speed at which I produce these things. So why should I dictate the speed at which you can consume my thoughts and my tips, and my speech, and my interviews?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:13] You know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:14] You should be able to consume it at the speed that you are able to understand it. If you're listening faster than you can understand, you're wasting your time, not my problem.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:20] You know, I know you're a lawyer and you're not my lawyer, but that was a damn good argument as a lawyer. And now I have to think about that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:26] The defense rests.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:27] The defense fucking sits back and smashes a claw after that way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:31] Bam.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:31] Yeah. I mean —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:32] All right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:33] Is there a difference between podcasts and movies? That's what I'm going to be thinking about for the rest of this week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:36] There is, but look, you're getting — you're listening to me right now edutainment — education and entertainment, whatever, you know what edutainment means. You're maybe watching documentaries though. You want to get the low down on this anti-vaccine documentary because you're watching five of them. You're going to interview some anti-vaxxer. I don't need to wait for your dramatic introduction to finish. I just want to consume that crap as fast as possible. If it's Friday night, though, I should just be like, "All right, 1X. Why not?" More choices are better with media. Yes, you can have analysis paralysis and like paradox of choice issues. But me deciding to watch something faster like Vimeo doesn't have speed control. I had to download a hack for it. And there's a plugin, by the way, called Vimeo speed control. I always use it because why should I wait for like an exercise instructor to do five reps when I can just be like, "Got it, next." You know, that's what I'm talking about. Anyway, this is another debate for another day.
[00:52:27] All right, last but not least.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:52:30] Hey team, after being laid off, I'm currently in the process of networking and making a career shift. Using strategies from your show, I secured cold calls with higher-up employees at two different dream companies. In both instances, I had a 30-minute informational call where I asked for book recommendations. I finished these books within seven days. My question now is how do I move from a cold call to a job offer? I plan to reach out and say I finished the book and provide some of my thoughts. I'm not sure if I should provide an additional ask with that or what my next move should be to progress the relationship in the right direction. Since my goal is a job and not just, you know, mentorship, I'm curious if I need to take a different approach to developing the relationship. Cheers and thank you and your team for all that you do. Shooting for the Moon Job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:12] Well, first of all, props to you for taking action and setting up those calls so quickly. This is an amazing example of how networking is really your best insurance policy. I love that you ran with the lessons from the show. I also really liked the idea to ask for a book recommendation. As long as that's coming from a genuine place, it's a smart way to expand your knowledge and show that you're interested and create an organic reason to reach back out to that person. So that's really nice. Good one.
[00:53:39] I think you're struggling here because you're torn between two different intentions. One intention is to build a meaningful relationship. The other intention is to get something concrete out of them. So in this case, a job, the problem with that mindset — and I use the term problem loosely because I think a lot of good networkers find themselves in this position is that you're going into these conversations with a desired outcome in mind. That outcome then hangs over the whole relationship. Sure, you're reading the book. You're sharing your thoughts, but you're not doing it because you want to deepen the relationship in general. You're doing it because you are hoping they will see you as an attractive candidate. Then every email or call you have with them is sort of tinged with this unspoken kind of awkward expectation, which is I'm only talking to you because to use your words, "I want to progress the relationship in the right direction." I'm sure these people are picking up on that too. That's why you're confused about what the next move is.
[00:54:35] I kind of get this a lot. There are people in my inbox that are like, "Hi. How are you? How's Jayden doing? What else is going on? I saw the fires." It's like small talky but then every time I respond, there's like more and more — look, I love talking with everyone who writes to me, even if you do want something, I enjoy it. But there's a real difference between people who just kind of check-in and go, "Oh, I thought of this funny thing that I heard on the show today because I saw this here's a photo." That's fun. I don't know what it is, Gabe. I can't put my finger on it, but I can really tell.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:05] Yeah, you can feel it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:06] I can feel it. I can feel when an alarm went off on their calendar that said, "Talk to Jordan about something." And then I get this like weird generic text.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:16] Yeah. There's like a little weird subtext that you're picking upon.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:18] Yeah. I have systems in Six-Minute Networking that are check-ins, but, and even then people go, "Did I come up on your list?" And I'll go, "You know it, baby." And they're like, "Ah, good to hear from you." But when I get it from somebody — and they want something and it's not even just an alarming check-in, I'm just like, I can just feel it. And it's not a sixth sense. It's the way that you communicate. There's no metaphysics here. It's really the way that these people communicate. I'm just, I know that they're leading into something and it becomes really obvious. This is why you need to dig the well before you're thirsty. I know I sound like a broken record. The emails I get like this all the time. They just make me want to go, "See, I told you."
[00:55:59] Imagine what these conversations would be like. If you'd reached out to these people six months ago. Imagine if you read that book six months ago and you had a great conversation with them with zero agenda and then slowly deepened the relationship over the following. Then when you needed a job, you could just reach out and say, "Look, I got laid off. I'm looking for a new gig. I would love to interview at your company. Do you think that's even possible?" It would not be weird if you did that. Wouldn't that have been nice? That's what digging the well before you're thirsty really means.
[00:56:27] So to answer your question, do I need to take a different approach in developing a relationship? Yeah, you totally do, but not for the reasons you think. You need to take the approach of wanting to genuinely connect with people with no immediate expectation of getting something in return. And you need to be able to do this with a lot of people right now, long before you need it for next time. That said, I don't mean to be a total downer here about these conversations you're having. I think they're great. I think you're doing a lot of good stuff. I think you should keep doing them. And if the moment feels right, sure, ask them if they have any openings, ask them if they can give you some advice. It's not the worst thing in the world to ask for something specific if the other person is open to it. It's just a lot easier and frankly, way more fun when the foundation has already been laid in advance. So I would start thinking like that. So you don't find yourself in this situation again in a few years.
[00:57:21] All right. Gabe, anything to add?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:57:22] No, I think that's great advice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:24] All right. Well, thank you very much, Gabe. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out The Green Prince Mosab Hassan and Commander Chris Hadfield if you haven't yet.
[00:57:33] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great guests, it's about the systems and the tiny habits that I use in building relationships. Please do check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free. That's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Everyone when I write to them, they'll write to me like, "Hey, I love the show. Just want to say hi." And I'm like, "Hey, how's Six-Minute Networking going?" "Oh, well, now that you're asking me, I'll do it." Just do it. Why do I have to bug all you guys? Come on. Dig the well before you get thirsty. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. This has been a life-changing thing for me. Find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:58:05] The link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me on LinkedIn.
[00:58:20] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team. That's Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Keeps sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer, not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show and retain counsel if you think you need to. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love and if you find this episode useful, somebody else needs this kind of advice, share this episode with somebody who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:59:05] I've got some thoughts in this episode. But before I get into that, I wanted to give you a quick bite of the episode I did with Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer. He's a real character and delivers business advice in a fun, entertaining way. I think in another life, he would have been some sort of mafia boss or something like that but instead, he teaches people how to make a legit living in their industry. Here's a quick preview of our conversation.
Jon Taffer: [00:59:25] If you're not honest with yourself, then how do you ever move your life in a positive direction? Because you're starting from a point of fantasy. Nobody can succeed if they're not honest with themselves. Revenue cures all. You know when I talk to people in business seminars and they're saying, "Jon, my labor cost is high. My marketing cost is high. My promotional cost is high. My tech cost is high, but if I could raise your revenue by 30 percent, you wouldn't have cut clause problems anymore. So it's the ultimate pacifier of every problem that exists in our lives. If we focus on the top line, which means I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is, how do I monetize myself right now? How do I drive revenue? That is the first thing I have to do today. Then I can deal with all of the other things that I have to do. There's nothing more important to an entrepreneur than revenue. And if they don't wake up every morning and think about revenue first thing, probably they shouldn't be an entrepreneur. And I'm going to say something that's going to upset some people, sometimes when I go to these businesses and I see a bartender and people say, "He's been a bartender for eight years. He should be the manager." No, if he's been a bartender for 10 years and he hasn't bubbled up, then he's the last guy who should be the manager. Some people are comfortable where they are and you promote them right out of the company. That guy who's been a bartender for 10 years. Leave him alone. The person who's not comfortable, who's bubbling up on their own, that's the one who should be promoted even if they've only been with you for a couple of months. I don't believe that you can make a leader. I don't believe you can train a leader. I don't believe you can make a leader. The pied piper, you would have followed him off a cliff. Leadership is boring. It's not given.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:07] For more, no-nonsense business advice with Bar Rescue star, Jon Taffer, check out episode 142 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:01:17] A lot of people ask me which podcasts I recommend, and I'm always about getting smarter every day. And if that brand name sounds familiar to you, it's because, my friend, Destin, who runs the No Dumb Questions podcast. Is that from Smarter Every Day? Is that how it works? Is that like your overarching brand?
Destin Sandlin: [01:01:32] No. I mean, basically, I have a YouTube channel called Smarter Every Day and I wanted to start a podcast with a buddy, so we just made it a different thing. It's called No Dumb Questions. It's the same thing, basically, we investigate a thing that we want to learn more about, and we ask all the very difficult questions. And it's just like a whole exploration into whatever we're curious about. And it's just fun thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:52] Tell me about the nuclear option because this is something that's been written about fiction and serialized. Our imagination runs wild with human destruction and you did a whole kind of investigative piece on this.
Destin Sandlin: [01:02:03] Yeah, episode 090 is called the Nuclear Option on the No Dumb Questions podcast. And we explored this concept by a guy named Roger Fisher. He came up with this concept — he was at this thing called the Harvard Negotiation Project. And the idea was how do you prevent nuclear war and if the president were to launch a nuclear weapon — what does that look like in your mind? Like, you know, he has to do what he has to enter the codes that — you know what I'm talking about? The football so to speak.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:33] I don't know, they break little plastic, they break a plastic thing and then they, like, they open up a briefcase and then they turn to keys at the same time. That's pretty much like that.
Destin Sandlin: [01:02:41] Yeah, something like that. So it's a very distant thing. Like he's kind of removed from the actual act of actually killing people in nuclear war. And so this guy, Roger Fisher had this amazing concept. He said — you know what? What if we took those nuclear codes and we buried them in the chest of an individual, like in a capsule? And this guy would always — maybe it's like a Marine officer or something. This person would always escort the president everywhere. And instead of actually opening a briefcase and getting the codes or whatever, he would actually have to carve them out of the chest of this Marine officer, it would bring home the concept of, "Hey, you're about to kill people. And in order to do this, you must first kill an innocent person," because that's about — I mean, you're about to do that with nuclear warheads. And so Roger Fisher came up with this concept. Anyway, this episode 090, the Nuclear Option, it's about exploring what was going on at that moment in history, the Cold War, and why this was proposed.
[01:03:40] And what's interesting is when Roger Fisher proposed this. He said a lot of people at the Pentagon were like, "well, that's preposterous. I mean, if you were to do that, then it would cloud the president's judgment and he might never launch a nuclear warhead." And so it's an interesting concept and it's a philosophical discussion about the whole distance of being able to annihilate another country with a push of a button. It's fascinating.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:03] Don't do that. We might never annihilate millions of innocent people for political —
Destin Sandlin: [01:04:07] Exactly, and that's what we talked about. And, you know, it's something that still exists. The nuclear football still exists, but we don't think about it now — like I remember thinking about it when I was a child and our parents thought about it. It's just a fascinating exploration into all the ethical questions that go along with this.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:25] That is fascinating. That's episode 090 on No Dumb Questions. We'll link to that in the show notes.
Destin Sandlin: [01:04:30] Hey, thanks, Jordan. Appreciate it.
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