Mysterious circumstances suggest your brother didn’t die at birth per “official” sources in Cold War-era East Germany, but he may have actually been abducted and sold to a family connected to the corrupt political hierarchy of the day. What can you do to find out for sure and give your parents the certainty they’ve been seeking for decades? We’ll try to find answers to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Jordan just got back from Morocco and he didn’t even bring us a lousy t-shirt. But he’s got stories!
- Did your brother really die at birth in the midst of the Cold War per “official” East German hospital records, or was he abducted and sold to a family of Communist party insiders? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis (and some secret sources) for helping us with this one!]
- Though you love her unconditionally, your partner’s negative self-image makes it nearly impossible for you to relay constructive criticism without it being taken as callous insensitivity. What can you do to improve this dynamic? [Thanks to Haesue Jo, Head of Clinical Support at BetterHelp, for helping us with this one!]
- Is there a healthy way to justify moving back in with the manipulative ex who’s always trying to weasel his way back into your life in order to save money and see your shared daughter more often?
- How can an inexperienced traveler with wanderlust overcome the anxiety of planning a trip to a foreign destination?
- 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.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
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Miss our out-of-this-world conversation with Bowie-strumming astronaut Chris Hadfield? Catch up with episode 408: Chris Hadfield | An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Bradley Steyn | Undercover with Mandela’s Spies Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Bradley Steyn | Undercover with Mandela’s Spies Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Moroccan National Tourist Office
- East Germany’s Stolen Babies | Focus
- Stolen Children of East Germany | DW
- East Germany’s Vanishing Babies | The Independent | The Independent
- Lost Children of Francoism | Wikipedia
- The Messed Up Truth About Spain’s Stolen Babies | Grunge
- Taken Under Fascism, Spain’s ‘Stolen Babies’ Are Learning the Truth | The New York Times
- ‘More than 50,000 Babies’ Stolen from Spanish Mothers under Franco Era Laws | The Independent
- Which DNA Test is Best for Finding Close Relatives? | Genetic Genealogy
- Paul Holes | Solving America’s Cold Cases | Jordan Harbinger
- Ambiguous Loss | Psychology Today
- What if There’s No Such Thing as Closure? | The New York Times
- The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change by Pauline Boss | Amazon
- Haesue Jo MA, LMFT, Head of Clinical Support | BetterHelp
- Why We Owe People Honesty | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth by Brad Blanton | Amazon
- Can Mom Cease As Family Man’s Side Piece? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Drew Binsky | Vicarious Trips and Travel Tips | Jordan Harbinger
- The Benefits of Traveling the World Alone | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Travel with Grumps | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Kidnap Me Once, Shame on You | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Jordan & Gabe | Kidnap Me Twice, Shame on Me | Jordan Harbinger
762: Where on Earth Is Sibling Abducted at Birth? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with feedback. Friday producer, the guy in a new apartment where psychotic people don't bang on the walls and batty old ladies don't yell outside his window while we're freaking recording, which is honestly a huge relief for me, West LA's very own Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't just get a new apartment. You got a new apartment too.
[00:00:24] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it feels that way. Since we spend all this time together on the show, I'm really digging your new "my apartment".
[00:00:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, you're welcome. I did it for you.
[00:00:33] Jordan Harbinger: We'll see. There's still, I mean, you're still in LA so there's still a bunch of crazy people—
[00:00:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: You never know.
[00:00:37] Jordan Harbinger: —just in every single—
[00:00:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:00:38] Jordan Harbinger: —corner of that town.
[00:00:40] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. So we want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people that we profile here on the show, how they think and how they behave. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening sometimes even inside your own mind.
[00:01:07] If you're new to the show — welcome — on Fridays, that's today, depending on, well, not depending on whatever day you're listening, it's just Friday for us. We give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of really incredible people, from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers.
[00:01:25] This week we had Bradley Steyn. This was a two-parter recorded quite a while ago about his experiences. Just absolutely incredible experiences in South Africa during the transition from apartheid to, well, let's say whatever it is now. Being a direct part of the action on both sides and even foiling, an assassination plot against Nelson Mandela. We recorded this actually, probably over a year ago now, but we had to sit on it due to the danger he still faces because of the political climate in South Africa where he has since moved. So, really interesting conversation.
[00:02:01] And funnily enough I met him because he punched me in the face really hard during a boxing class. And he felt—
[00:02:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: What?
[00:02:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so I was at a boxing class at a gym and they paired me with this dude and he's enormous because it turns out he's a bodyguard, like a special forces intelligence agent guy from South Africa.
[00:02:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh.
[00:02:18] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm me. So he just jacked me straight in the face and he goes, "Did you just walk into that punch?" And I'm like, "I think so. I don't know." And then, he felt really bad. So he is like, "Dude, you know, let me—"
[00:02:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Be on your show?
[00:02:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. This is years before that. And he lived in LA for a while and it turned out he was like, Kid Rock's bodyguard for a while.
[00:02:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh, okay.
[00:02:37] Jordan Harbinger: And he was doing personal protection. I was like, "Oh, I kind of used to do that stuff, but not the same close protection. I was the driver." So we had a lot in common, even though he was like the muscle and I was sort of the brains of these types of operations back in the day. We really riffed on that. And then he started telling me about his experiences and then he wrote a book about it and I thought like, wow, this is really incredible stuff.
[00:02:56] So we finally did a show and yeah, it lasted like three freaking hours and then he moved back to South Africa and I thought, "Aren't you going to get in trouble for saying all this stuff about the military and the president?" And he's like, "Yeah, maybe we need to build a fence in a wall around my house and I need an alarm system and some guns.
[00:03:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Wow.
[00:03:13] Jordan Harbinger: So he got all that together and moved again somewhere in South Africa. And then he finally says, "You can release the show now." And I'm thinking, geez, man. But you know, this is a real dangerous situation. You don't want to screw with these types of people in that type of place. So that conversation is interesting, but that's why it's a little bit delayed. So he makes some references to the news and I'm like, yeah, the news from summer 2021. That's fine though. It doesn't matter. Everybody remembers.
[00:03:39] Gabe as you know, I just got back from Morocco.
[00:03:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:03:42] Jordan Harbinger: Such a fun experience.
[00:03:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Was it?
[00:03:45] Jordan Harbinger: It was.
[00:03:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Amazing.
[00:03:46] Jordan Harbinger: You know, typically, I need to go to like a four or five-star hotel and get a rest. And then I go on these adventure trips with this group of entrepreneurs, mostly out of Canada. And they plan everything and they don't tell us what we're going to do, so we can't complain or sort of mentally prepare for these things. And we climbed a mountain. We went three hours off the side of the highway, just turning right into a non-exit and driving across the sand for three hours and going to a Bedouin camp where we spent several days, rode camels around, found abandoned casbah, which are old fortresses from, I don't know, 15 something, something made out of mud.
[00:04:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:04:18] Jordan Harbinger: And we were just exploring these things and running around. And what was crazy is you're with a guide and you're like, "Oh, I want to go this way, I want to go that way." And they're like, "Well, people live over there." And I'm thinking, "What do you mean people live over there? This is an abandoned fortress from the 15, 16th century." And he is like, "Yeah, there's just people who live in half of this and they don't live in the other half, so be careful where you're walking because you don't want to walk into someone's house." And I'm thinking, well, they're going to have a door. And they kind of do, but it's just kind of an old ass door and you just push it and there's somebody living in there in the middle of nowhere in Morocco.
[00:04:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: In the middle of the desert.
[00:04:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. That's so cool.
[00:04:52] Jordan Harbinger: It's just nuts.
[00:04:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's wild.
[00:04:54] Jordan Harbinger: We would watch sunsets from these old casbahs. And then, they surprised us with a concert where these descendants of Tuareg people who use like goat skin drums, they chant and sing and do sword fights, like kind of mock sword fights as a war chant. And they just had a concert for us in the middle of this thing with a big campfire.
[00:05:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: That sounds awesome. That's so cool.
[00:05:14] Jordan Harbinger: It was really, really incredible. I mean, you just can't do this. You can't book this kind of thing on TripAdvisor, right? It's far, it's in the middle of nowhere. You can't call these people ostensibly because most of them don't even have, there's not even phone service in some of these places. There's nothing there.
[00:05:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: How did they even organize that then?
[00:05:32] Jordan Harbinger: Our tour guide had gone there before, told them what was going to happen and they said, okay, cool. And then he's got a local fixer who probably drives three hours out there, tells them when we're coming. I really have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea. No clue.
[00:05:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Craziness.
[00:05:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, and we went to a hammam and I've been to a hammam, which was like a spa before in Turkey, and it was nice. It was in this big marble building and the building was 800 years old and there's a sauna and they're heating up the marble. And then somebody who looks like the hunchback in Notre Dame cracks your back and scrubs you down with bubbles, which is a little weird, but you know, whatever, when in Rome. So we went to this rural, rural hammam in the middle of nowhere, Morocco. And let me tell you, not quite the same thing. It was more like a really dirty YMCA shower with a lot of dudes in it. And there's a therapist in there, which is just a guy in like stretched out, loose-fitting wet underwear who sits on you and puts you in like all these jujitsu-like positions while you're smashed into the dirty, dirty floor of this YMCA. It's basically your worst nightmare, Gabriel.
[00:06:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know. That actually sounds pretty cool.
[00:06:34] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:06:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, at least for the story it might be kind of like some type two fun sh*t.
[00:06:37] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, type two fungus probably all over my face and neck. I definitely had to take a serious alcohol shower after being on the floor of this thing because they force you to lay down, they're twisting you around, cracking things and I'm like, if this guy cracks my back and neck for which he is, I'm sure woefully unqualified to diagnose any issues. Didn't ask me about any preexisting injuries, nothing, just starts cracking me.
[00:06:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:06:59] Jordan Harbinger: And the rest of the guys in there are laughing their faces off and this guy's scrubbing me with this glove, this like sand covered glove, scrubbing my nipples off. And I'm not just saying that as a joke. I mean, I'm like, dude, they're clean, he's scrubbing super, super hard.
[00:07:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ouch.
[00:07:13] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm covering it. He's moving my hands away. I mean, he was torturing me. He enjoyed it. I think he just really liked me squirming. He reaches into my shorts and starts scrubbing my butt and my thighs.
[00:07:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:07:25] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm thinking like, this is so gross. So he uses this glove and all of the guys are laughing at me because I'm so uncomfortable, right?
[00:07:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:07:32] Jordan Harbinger: They're all laughing at me until he takes the glove, slaps it on the ground a couple of times to get my skin cells and soap out of it, and then tucks it into the crotch of his ill-fitting underwear, swimsuit thing.
[00:07:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:07:45] Jordan Harbinger: And then, Gabriel, he goes to the next guy sitting next to me and proceeds to scrub that guy's face—
[00:07:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: —with this clot thing that was just in my butt and everywhere else on me.
[00:08:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I did not think the story was going—
[00:08:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I bet you didn't. None of us thought that was going to go that direction.
[00:08:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: I thought you were going to say he used the same glove to do the same thing to somebody else, but—
[00:08:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, he did. He just started with their face. So, the joke was on them.
[00:08:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:08:16] Jordan Harbinger: They were all laughing at me and I was like, I'm so glad I went first 1000 percent.
[00:08:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: You definitely want to go first in that line. Yes.
[00:08:23] Jordan Harbinger: You certainly, certainly do, man. You certainly do.
[00:08:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh man. Well, you just sold me on Morocco, like I'm definitely going to go.
[00:08:29] Jordan Harbinger: I would say skip the hammam. It was so funny that everyone was laughing, laughing and then it just was dead silent when they realized they were going to get that same glove on their face. Imagine being like third, fourth, fifth guy.
[00:08:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh no. I don't want to think about it.
[00:08:42] Jordan Harbinger: They're using the same glove on everybody and that glove, I hate to say it, it probably wasn't new when it hit my face either.
[00:08:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, that is a good point. Yeah, he's not pulling out a fresh pack every time a new group of tourists comes in. Yeah.
[00:08:54] Jordan Harbinger: The other thing that was disgusting man, is he cut me on the foot by mistake. They throw water on you from a bucket. And he cut me with the bucket because it was rusted to hell. And he got my toe with it and I'm like, great. So I'm texting Jen when I get service, like, when's my last tetanus shot? She was like a couple of years ago, thank God. But then, I showed the guy, my toe is bleeding right from this and I'm thinking, oh, I better get out of here. It's all wet and disgusting. I need to go back to the car and bandage this up because this is bleeding everywhere. I pointed out he takes his wet, soapy, dirty ass hand and rubs the blood off the cut with his bare hand.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then drink it.
[00:09:29] Jordan Harbinger: That was the treatment at the hammam. It was so gross. So of course, immediately what I do is I bounced the hell out of there after my turn is done and I put some Polysporin on that thing and I'm just praying my toe doesn't fall off by the end of the trip.
[00:09:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:09:41] Jordan Harbinger: But it's fine.
[00:09:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: That'll do it. Little Polysporin should prevent you from getting—
[00:09:45] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:09:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: —North African sepsis.
[00:09:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah. And tetanus and everything else from this like, "Hey, there wasn't enough dirt in this cut. I'm just going to rub my bare hand that's on this YMCA gym floor all in the cut to make sure that the blood has got—" It was just so vile.
[00:09:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm amazed that you're alive.
[00:10:00] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it's only been a few days. There's still time.
[00:10:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's true. We still have time. But like what would've happened if you died in a Moroccan, hammam?
[00:10:09] Jordan Harbinger: Silly way to go.
[00:10:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: The show just has to go on. I'm doing feedback Friday alone because some guy touched you with a cat grooming glove in the wrong place on a rust bucket.
[00:10:17] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. And I got to say, I hate when podcasts start with a bunch of, "How was your weekend? How was your trip?" because it's really annoying, but I just thought these stories were funny and unique enough.
[00:10:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah. This is crucial. We got to get this on the record.
[00:10:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's got to be on the record. And if I do die now you know what the cause of death likely was. No one else might admit it, but it was for sure not the camels or all the sunburn that I got, or a weird thing that I got in a casbah basement that hasn't been opened for 400 years. It was probably the hammam.
[00:10:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's straight hammam, bro. Yeah.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: All right. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:10:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I grew up in the former East Germany and have lived in the US since graduating high school. I'm the oldest of three siblings, and my parents told us at a young age that we had another brother who died shortly after birth in 1989. A few years ago, my parents revealed that they believe my brother is still alive. They've been searching for him unsuccessfully for years, and living with the uncertainty is really taking a toll on them. What they believe happened is that his death was staged and that he was sold off, which seems to have been a common practice at the time. Many babies disappeared in several areas in the former GDR and were sold to officers and officials.
[00:11:28] Jordan Harbinger: So GDR, for those who don't know, is the former East Germany.
[00:11:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:11:31] Jordan Harbinger: It was a Soviet satellite state, communist social estate. It's West Germany and East Germany were split. East Germany was a very restrictive sort of North Korea, like state, not quite as bad, but you know, not even close to as bad frankly, but still a lot of shady stuff going on as we are now hearing from children being ripped from wombs and sold.
[00:11:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the letter goes on.
[00:11:52] Few families have been reunited in recent years. There were many irregularities around my brother's death that led my parents to this conclusion. At the time, my mom was pregnant, she went for a routine checkup and was told she needed a C-section, which was performed immediately even though she wasn't in labor and had no known issues with her pregnancy. During the procedure, the anesthesia wore off and my mom felt her insides being sucked out—
[00:12:17] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:12:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: —along with the pain of the procedure. She also vividly remembers hearing my brother cry. A cry, she'll never forget. After the procedure, my parents were told that there were issues with his breathing and that they couldn't see him. Three days passed, then the doctors told my parents that he had died. They never got to see his body. The research they conducted over the past few years shows a lot of inconsistencies. For example, the pathology book from the time was supposedly lost and the family who owned it immediately hired a lawyer when they were asked about it.
[00:12:47] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa.
[00:12:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: When my mom approached the now-retired doctor, he refused to talk. All he said was that my mom seems to already know more than he does. Even more suspicious was what happened when my mom had breast cancer about six years ago. The gynecologist treating her at the hospital was the same one who was present during the C-section. She ended up giving my mom preferential treatment almost as if she wanted to ease her conscience. My mom ended up telling the gynecologist's assistant what happened decades earlier in detail. When he asked the doctor in front of my mom if what she told him was the truth, the doctor started stumbling, not knowing what to say.
[00:13:23] That's insane.
[00:13:24] Jordan Harbinger: This is, I'm—
[00:13:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a crazy scene. Wow.
[00:13:27] Jordan Harbinger: I'm thinking about how this, I'm looking in my head.
[00:13:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:13:30] Jordan Harbinger: I'm projecting this through my head. Like what?
[00:13:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: You can just picture, it's such an image, right?
[00:13:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's just an unbelievable setup. I mean, look, we're looking at somebody's memory of an event that's being told secondhand, so it's hard to say what really went down.
[00:13:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:13:45] Jordan Harbinger: But it's kind of hard to imagine that none of this happened when it sounds like all of it happened, yeah, really. Oh my god.
[00:13:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, what a coincidence that the gynecologist who treated her all these years later is the same one who did this. That's wild.
[00:13:59] Jordan Harbinger: That's very strange. Although maybe they live in a medium, small town—
[00:14:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, a small town.
[00:14:03] Jordan Harbinger: —and there's two gynecologists at the whole hospital, who knows?
[00:14:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Could be. Okay. So the letter goes on.
[00:14:07] To this day, no one has been willing to admit what truly happened or give my parents any information that would help. All of their research has led to dead ends and not living in Germany makes it much more difficult for me to make progress. Nevertheless, I want to help them find closure by solving the mystery that's caused them so much pain. What can I do to help find my brother? Do you have any contacts who might be able to help track him down? Signed, Grasping at Straws, Trying to Help My Ma and Pa Right this Wrong, That's Stuck in Their Craw.
[00:14:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, this story is just bananas. I'd actually heard about this years ago, East Germany's stolen babies. It pops up every now and again. I'm always stunned by it. I read these kinds of things because I used to live in the former East Germany, right? So it wasn't East Germany when I was there. It had just sort of reunited with Germany, but I'm very familiar with Eastern block, Eastern culture. The difference between East Germany and West Germany and some of the crazy stuff that went down, because I always listened really intently and I still ask questions to my host family about this kind of thing.
[00:15:09] But all right, after we got your letter, we read up on this a little bit more. It has been written about quite a bit over the last 20, 25 years, and it's as insane as it sounds. It really did happen to tons of families in East Germany. This is not some weird delusion that your parents have because they can't cope with the grief of losing a baby. It's not that farfetched thing at all. It just blows my mind truly. It really is one of those stories where you go, wait a minute, this just sounds like a movie. I mean, we said that earlier. We're playing this scene in our heads. And if we're sticking in movie mode, the solution is kidnap the doctor's grandkids and make them talk or get the gynecologist and she'll wake up in a shipping container and she'll start talking.
[00:15:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:15:49] Jordan Harbinger: And you know, if it happened, then it's still happening somewhere. Human trafficking, well, unfortunately, it's nothing new. There must be tens and tens and tens of thousands of families going through some version of this right now, somewhere in the world, which is just heartbreaking. And Gabe, you also found out that a very similar thing happened in Spain, correct?
[00:16:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, yeah. Apparently from the Civil War to like the early '90s. So for 50 years, basically, starting with the Franco regime, there were apparently 50,000 cases of infants being stolen by doctors, priests, nuns, and—
[00:16:24] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:16:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Those are just the ones we know about Amnesty International did a whole investigation about it. Apparently, these babies were taken away from their mothers, very similar to this story, and then given to families that Franco's government believed were more suitable, quote-unquote, "more deserving." It's insane. It's a crazy thing to have happened.
[00:16:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's so disgusting. But it reminds me of North Korea again.
[00:16:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:16:44] Jordan Harbinger: Because I haven't heard of this happening in North Korea, but I can't for one second. Imagine that a place that controls and tortures people like North Korea is not also just like, "Hey, we're going to take your kid away because we're going to send you to a gulag."
[00:16:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:16:57] Jordan Harbinger: "And we're going to give your kid to some—"
[00:16:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: To some workers' party. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:17:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Some official that can't have kids. I mean, I'm sure that happens. And I remember when we were there, one of our friends had brought his girlfriend and guys were interested in her. And after we left, we had heard, "Hey, you know, you shouldn't bring a girl like that to North Korea because sometimes they just don't get to go home."
[00:17:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: What?
[00:17:18] Jordan Harbinger: And there's nothing you can do about it. Yeah. You don't remember this?
[00:17:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:17:22] Jordan Harbinger: I remember one of the guides telling, or somebody had told another guy on our tour. You know, it's dangerous to bring a woman like that to North Korea because sometimes if somebody just takes a fancy to her, she can just vanish and then you're never going to see her again.
[00:17:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Was he kidding though? Was he serious?
[00:17:36] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know.
[00:17:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't remember that at all.
[00:17:38] Jordan Harbinger: Does that not sound like something that could easily happen in a place like that though, right? You just can't believe it?
[00:17:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally, yeah, I believe it. I just didn't know that was actually something they said out loud.
[00:17:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's insane.
[00:17:48] Jordan Harbinger: Freaking crazy.
[00:17:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:17:49] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, I just can't imagine what this must have been like for your parents, your mother especially to almost certainly have your child taken away from you and then be lied to by the doctors and just to realize it's all probably being covered up and you're still feeling this wound over 30 years later. Not to mention the impact, the legacy of this loss must have had on you growing up. It just, it's beyond comprehension.
[00:18:16] I think it goes without saying, I'm so sorry that this happened to you guys. I'm so sorry that you have to watch your parents suffer from afar. I'm sure you probably feel very helpless. That's a really tough place to be in, and I absolutely understand this pull to finally find your brother, that would be amazing, and you could finally put this to bed. You all could be reunited, which is really what you all deserve.
[00:18:39] So here's the deal. We shared your story with not one, not two, but three high-level intelligence and law enforcement experts. These are former FBI, former MI5, MI6 guys, which is like the UK CIA, for people who don't know. These are guys that do complex investigations like this, and their responses were unanimous. In short, very unfortunately, they all believe that this kind of investigation would be very, very difficult to pull off, likely futile for a number of reasons.
[00:19:15] So first of all, it has been 30-plus years since this. Second, it would be very difficult, maybe impossible to track down the people who carried this out and get them to talk, especially if they are or were connected to the government. Now, I don't have to explain that the East German government doesn't even exist anymore. Who knows where those papers are and the records are if they ever existed? I mean, this is not like it happened at a hospital in Ohio and somebody's got the records and they're not talking and the law can make them do this. This is just something that happened in a country that doesn't exist anymore, even if the land is still there, right?
[00:19:49] Also, Germany, I love the place, but they got a tainted reputation in this department. Opening up old wounds, it's probably not a thing that people in power, the public itself really wants. And it's not like Germany has formally acknowledged this and set up some kind of agency to investigate and reunite families or compensate them in any way as far as we can tell anyway.
[00:20:10] If you're talking about the Holocaust, there's tens of thousands of people working on the memory of this thing, getting the records together, da, da, da. East Germany's, kind of like, "Okay, we're going to not worry about this particular thing. We might even deny this is happening." And that's to say nothing of the fact that an investigation like this would be very tedious, super slow, lot of boots on the ground door knocking, looking for records that again, probably don't exist, trying to track down people who might be dead now, unwilling to talk because they might be in subject to legal liability or criminal liability for that matter, basically hundreds and hundreds of dead ends.
[00:20:47] And to quote one of the guys we talked to, this would be a long and relatively thankless task that would quickly become extremely expensive with no improved odds of getting results. And that's hard to hear. To quote another one, the former FBI guy who's had great success finding people in the states. An investigation like this. It would require some trace of identifying information to start. We don't have any records, any photos, any DNA, nothing. And without that starting point, since your brother was taken as an infant, which means the records no longer exist, if they ever even existed, he said it's nearly impossible to locate somebody, especially internationally. We're just digging for a needle in a haystack that's stacked on a bunch of haystacks on a farm that makes hay. I mean, it's just a crazy, crazy, it's looking for a grain of sand in the Sahara Desert at this point.
[00:21:36] That said, he did mention one interesting option, which is to send your DNA, speaking of DNA to as many ancestry sites as possible in not just the ones in the United States or popular in Europe. Look for some Russian ones. I mean, I'm not saying Russians took your kid, but I am saying East Germany was a Soviet satellite state, and if you're going to steal kids from somebody, you're probably going to do it in a place where you're abusing the population in other ways too.
[00:22:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, good point.
[00:22:02] Jordan Harbinger: You know what I'm saying? Like what's the difference If some Soviet diplomat steals a kid from East Germany, nobody's going to do a thing about it. They're already under the boot of the Soviet Union. It's probably even easier than getting away with it in Russia. So that's just a little thing that I think could be a lead. Look for these DNA ancestry sites in other countries. See if you get a match. See if you get a hit with somebody who could be your brother. Maybe he's always suspected that he's adopted because everyone in his whole family has different features than him. Who knows? Or he's just curious about his DNA because he's a dude who's curious about these kinds of things. He's going to be really surprised when he finds out that he's got a relative or a bunch of relatives and they all live in Germany. If you both submit to the same service, you'll get a notification.
[00:22:45] Obviously this is a long shot and the standard disclaimers about privacy will apply here. But he did say that he's seen a number of incredible success stories using that method, which is pretty wild. And don't forget it, in the Paul Holes episode of this show, they found the Golden State Killer because of a DNA database and finding DNA. "Hey, aren't you the brother of this guy?" Yeah, but they find people like this all the time. So that's the bad news and I cannot tell you how bummed we are to report that back to you because I would have loved nothing more than to connect you with a private investigator who could crack this case and then reunite you with your long lost brother. I was really hoping that was what was going to. And it sucks that even the best of the best are hearing your story and just shaking their head and saying, "Ooh yeah, no dice. This is basically impossible." And I know that they were also really disappointed to tell me the same thing they really were.
[00:23:37] But after we learned all this, Gabe and I could not stop talking about your story, and we just kept coming back to this question of how do you accept that you won't get closure on something this big? How do you live with an open wound?
[00:23:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:55] Jordan Harbinger: Like this?
[00:23:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:23:56] Jordan Harbinger: We've talked on the show about the concept of ambiguous loss, and this is probably the most extreme example of that phenomenon. Losing somebody, your baby no less, and not having the information you need to process the loss and move on. It's one of those situations that must eat away at your mind. It always weighs on your heart. It just won't go away. And so what are you and your parents supposed to do about that? That's what we wanted to know. So we reached out to the one and only Dr. Erin Margolis, clinical psychologist, friend of the show, and apparently our go-to grief expert to find out how to heal a wound that just won't close.
[00:24:35] And the first thing Dr. Margolis said is that what you guys have been through it is incredibly painful. It is no news to anyone, but it's bizarre. It's disturbing. It's traumatizing on a number of levels, the magnitude of this loss, it's unimaginable. It's huge. And part of what's so huge about it is that it is fundamentally unresolvable by its nature, and that can just drive somebody absolutely crazy would drive me crazy too, honestly.
[00:25:01] So in Dr. Margolis' view, finding some resolution here that's not necessarily about solving the mystery or saying, "You know, I'll only move on from this when I have all the answers." The only way to live with this is to become comfortable with that ambiguity because closure, it's a complicated concept. We often think of closure as, "I need all the facts," or, "I need answers to these six questions," or, "I just need one last conversation with my ex or my mother who died, or my sibling who won't talk to me or whatever." And we pin a lot of hopes on that concept of closure. We have these beliefs. They're fantasies, really about what it'll look like and what it's going to do for us, how it's going to make us feel.
[00:25:43] But in Dr. Margolis' experience, closure is usually something that happens more internally. In other words, in process with yourself as opposed to getting something from somebody else or from the world. And whether that's acceptable or workable to you in a way that's secondary, because the reality is this is how life works a lot of the time. We simply don't have access to the information we want, which means it's up to us to develop a new relationship with the loss to create our own kind of closure.
[00:26:16] And I know how frustrating that must be to hear, because I'm sure you're thinking, "But we are living with the ambiguity. We've been in freaking limbo about my brother for 30-plus years. It's horrible." And hey, trust me, I get that. But Dr. Margolis brought up a really interesting point, which is maybe you guys have continued to search for your brother, not just to solve the mystery, but to maintain a connection with him to keep him alive in some sense.
[00:26:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:26:44] Jordan Harbinger: And if that's true, I do wonder if that itself might be a way of avoiding the kind of acceptance that I was just talking about. The hope you're holding out of finding your brother, Dr. Margolis, wondered if that hope might also be protective against fully processing this experience and feeling the loss, which again is perfectly understandable, but I think that's worth asking yourself here.
[00:27:07] Just to be clear, Dr. Margolis didn't say, you guys have to stop looking for your brother. She was very clear here, you are welcome to keep trying. And hey, maybe you'll get a lead or a break one day, which would obviously be huge. I would not blame you if you didn't stop looking. I mean, I feel like I might just continue at some level, but her question to you was, "Can you make space for both experiences? Can you feel the weight of this loss and hold out hope that you might find him? Can you look for the closure you want and maybe not place quite as many expectations on that closure itself? I know, I know it sounds like a zen parable or some annoying thing like that, and I'm asking you to have a foot in two very different feelings, two very different states of mind, but I think Dr. Margolis is raising a good point. You have to consider what function this search is fulfilling in your life because the surface function is, "Well, to find my stolen brother, duh." Okay, but beneath that, this endless search, the hope, the trying, that could be a way to cope, to avoid, maybe even to defend against the profound sadness and anger of grief. And worst of all, this terrible confusion that comes with it.
[00:28:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:28:20] Jordan Harbinger: An interesting question to ask yourself or to ask your parents since they're the ones feeling this most acutely would be, "What would it mean if we accepted that we're never going to find him? What would it mean if we gave up looking and decided to live with the not knowing?" And I'm not presupposing the answer here, I just think a really important conversation could potentially open up from that question.
[00:28:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That is really insightful and also so heavy.
[00:28:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:28:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's really difficult, but I think that's something they need to consider after 30-plus years.
[00:28:57] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's interesting. I also wonder if giving up the search and finally grieving their brother, their son, if maybe that's really hard also because it would feel like defeat.
[00:29:07] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. Yeah. I think that's very possible. Like we wouldn't just have to feel the sadness of the loss. We'd also feel like we failed.
[00:29:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. I do think that for many people, grieving can feel like a failure.
[00:29:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because in a way you're admitting powerlessness over the loss and the whole situation. You aren't arguing with it, you're not bargaining with it, you're not kicking the can down the road. You're acknowledging that death, loss, disappearance, mystery, it's real. And in a way, it has won. And in her parents' case, it might even feel like they've abandoned their baby again by giving up. I wonder if they carry a lot of guilt around, even though this clearly was not their fault, but holding out hope that they'll find him that could be a way to stave off the guilt too.
[00:29:50] Jordan Harbinger: I could totally see that. I also suspect they'd feel these corrupt doctors and officials that those people won in the same sense.
[00:29:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:29:58] Jordan Harbinger: Which is so freaking infuriating.
[00:30:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, infuriating, yeah.
[00:30:00] Jordan Harbinger: These people are truly evil and they're just getting away with this. And you know, Gabe, I think also as a parent, I know I'm projecting here, but the mother's got to be asking herself, if I'd only fought harder in the moment, maybe I'd have my son. Like maybe if I demanded to see him or if I threw a huge fit where they might even throw me in jail because we're talking about East German Hospital here.
[00:30:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:30:21] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe they would've been like, "Screw it, this woman's got a screw loose. We're never going to hear the end of this. It's too much trouble. Just give her a kid and steal someone else's kid." I don't know. I would be thinking about that as a parent.
[00:30:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Of course, you would. And it's probably that also would drive you insane.
[00:30:34] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Trying to just think like, "If I had only done this, if I only had spoken up at this point, if I had woken up at the right moment, if I had fought harder when they took him away."
[00:30:40] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:30:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that might also be a way to control the situation because you can't control the situation, but you can control all the what-ifs in your mind.
[00:30:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: But to your point, yeah, there's a whole layer of injustice on top of the emotional wound, and that is just, ugh, it's a lot to deal with.
[00:30:55] Jordan Harbinger: It's a lot.
[00:30:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: But the truth is that's not really what grief is about. It's not a defeat or an admission of failure or weakness. It's about coming to terms with the reality of this situation, this awful reality, and honoring the impact that this loss has had on your family and on you because a loss this big, yes, of course, it's left a huge mark on your mother and your father, but I'm sure it shaped your relationship with your parents and their relationship with you. I imagine it informs the whole dynamic that you guys have now.
[00:31:25] Jordan Harbinger: We can definitely hear some of that in the letter, right? They live abroad, they feel helpless. They want to help their parents find closure by solving the mystery that's caused them so much pain. I mean, this is a huge responsibility/burden.
[00:31:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is a huge responsibility, and I'm not entirely sure if it's hers to carry, at least not alone. And that would be another interesting thing for you to explore where that sense of responsibility comes from. Did you just sort of inherit it from your parents because it was part of the family story from the beginning? Do you feel like it's your job to protect your parents, to save them and to spare them these feelings? And if you magically could help them find this closure that they want so badly, what would that accomplish for you? And I really don't mean that in a cynical way. I actually mean that more in a, "I'd love to understand what the stakes of this role are for you" kind of way.
[00:32:13] Because look, if you brought your parents the piece they want, would it shift your dynamic? Would you maybe get some relief or love or attention that perhaps you didn't get enough of because they were always consumed with looking for your brother? Would they see you differently if you cracked the case? What would it mean for you or say about you if you were the one to alleviate the suffering for your parents? I think those are really important questions. Yeah.
[00:32:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. These are really good questions. I see what you're getting at because yes, it's her parents suffering primarily. And of course, he's this writer's brother too, but I do get the sense that they feel largely responsible here and there's got to be more to it than just, "Well, we got to solve the case."
[00:32:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have to imagine that this wound has worked its way into every relationship in this family. There's this ghost of the son and the brother they lost. And so yeah, if this person found him, that wouldn't just find him. It would theoretically anyway, it could change the way their whole family feels and thinks and relates to one another. And maybe that's the function of the search for the person writing in, not just to find closure, but to transform their parents and rewrite their whole dynamic.
[00:33:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's so intense. But I think you're absolutely right. Man, you know, part of the ambiguity of your loss is that we could talk about it forever. There are infinite nooks and crannies into what is unknown in life, and that is what's so difficult about your story. But I also think that the pain and the confusion, they're also bringing up some really important questions about how you and your family move through life. How this loss has shaped you guys?
[00:33:48] Because yes, finding your brother would right a serious wrong and help you guys heal a profound wound. But in a world where you can't find him, you're really only left with the experience. The experience of grief, which is ultimately the experience of not knowing the full story, of being angry, of being sad, of raging at the people who did this, of feeling helpless sometimes, of feeling guilty at other times, of giving up the wish that things could be different. Who knows? Maybe also a feeling of being relieved on some level. There's just so much grief in a case like this.
[00:34:22] So in my view, working through all of that, maybe with the help of a therapist, maybe by going to support groups for families who have lost children. There might even be one specifically for German families affected by this program. I cannot imagine that this is, if there's so many cases like this, I would do a Google and a Facebook search for groups like that. In my view, that is the way through this loss. And to Dr. Margolis' point, that might be the so-called closure that you actually need when you can't get the one that you want. But that means getting to a point where you say, "I'm ready to accept the unacceptable, and I'm willing to try things in a different way," which is an incredibly difficult step to take, but also a very powerful one no matter what kind of loss you've endured.
[00:35:06] So I hope that gives you some new angles here. Again, I am so sorry you guys have been through this. My heart honestly goes out to you guys as a parent and as a fellow human. And I'm sorry we couldn't crack the case you wanted us to, but maybe we've given you a few new ways to crack the deeper one, which ultimately has better odds of giving you the resolution that you want.
[00:35:28] Phew, man, you know who won't use an aberrant injustice perpetrated by a brutal totalitarian/communist regime in order to push capitalism on you? These two free market evangelists. We'll be right back.
[00:35:43] This episode is sponsored in part by TextExpander. If you want to save hours each month of just sheer typing, you're going to want to try out this tool that I use every single day called TextExpander. My entire team uses it. Literally, we save hours each month of just unnecessary typing and TextExpander is basically keyboard shortcuts, but on steroids, like Liver King, you're probably thinking I can just copy and paste, or I already have keyboard shortcuts built in on my phone, whatever. With TextExpander, you can actually create custom message templates where you fill in a name or you fill in a date, or it has a dropdown of different message options depending on what you want to send. I use this all the time, but it's especially handy if you need to send it out mass messages that are customized, like responding to social media stuff, business inquiries, whatever TextExpander is so smart. It'll also suggest snippets you should be creating based on your typing, words you use all the time, or misspell all the time. So don't waste time typing out things you've already worded perfectly, capture the important pieces of your emails, directions, messages, and data so you just never have to retype them again. It also works on desktop and mobile.
[00:36:44] Jen Harbinger: Try it for free, and when you're ready to sign up, get 20 percent off your first year at textexpander.com/jordan. Go to textexpander.com/jordan to learn more about TextExpander.
[00:36:56] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by TheFire.org. Do you know that only one in three Americans believe we can fully exercise our free speech rights? That's why fire is stepping up to protect freedom of expression for all Americans, no matter where you're from or what you believe. The foundation for Individual Rights and Expression or Fire knows free speech makes free people. Fire will always be a principled, nonpartisan, non-profit defender of your rights. Join the fight for free speech at www.thefire.org.
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[00:37:52] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:37:55] All right. This next segment is sponsored by Better Help online therapy. Gabe, take it away.
[00:38:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. For the first six months of my relationship with my now fiancée, we were both very physically active and we both looked great as a result. Our relationship was amazing and everything was going well. Then, she injured her knee and has been unable to exercise in the way she would like for the past year or so. Since then, we've had various arguments about some admittedly sh*tty things that I've done. For one thing, I wanted to invite somebody I slept with in the past to our wedding, and I lied about our past to spare my fiancée's feelings. For another, when my fiancée asked if I would sleep with another girl we were out with one night, I responded that quote, "In a vacuum, if we were not together, yes, I would." Most recently, I told her that I might be working with somebody I slept with years ago, and again, that made her very uncomfortable. I meant no harm by any of this, but it's caused a tremendous amount of hurt and fighting. My fiancée is uneasy about my past as I've slept with many more people than she has, and that triggers her insecurities. I try to tell her that my past has no bearing on us and that I put a ring on her finger for a reason, but my words have no effect. Finally, tonight, she called me about a trip we're taking this weekend and how she's anxious about wearing a swimsuit. I reassured her, told her that she looked good, which she does, even in her current shape and that I loved her. Then she said, "But my body isn't banging," to which I replied, "Eh, we know this." I feel that we're both adults and can acknowledge realities, but she took that to mean that I lack the ability to be sensitive and that I don't support her. The thing is, even though her knee isn't a hundred percent, I feel there are other things she could be doing to improve her body if this is truly such an issue for her. I have a hard time sympathizing with people who aren't willing to work with their challenges, especially when they have the ability to. I truly feel as though nearly every problem we have stems from her negative self-image, and I don't know what else I can do to change it. I don't wish to minimize the sh*tty things that I've done, and I love this woman more than I love my own life, but I fear that her mental health is becoming an insurmountable obstacle. It's also becoming clear that I cannot give her what she needs. I'm at a loss. What can I do? Signed, Put My Gal at Ease Without Cutting Her Off at the Knees.
[00:40:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oof, Gabe, this is a tough one.
[00:40:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, tell me about it. Landmines left and right in this relationship.
[00:40:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, no kidding. It's like wherever they turn, there's a potential explosion. This is so stressful.
[00:40:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:40:23] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I appreciate how honest you've been with us, and I hear how badly you want to understand what's happening here and make progress. This is a tricky dynamic and it's actually quite fascinating. So let's dig into it. We wanted to consult with an expert on your question. So we spoke with Haesue, Jo licensed marriage and family therapist and head of clinical operations at Better Help, the world's largest online therapy service. You've heard of them. They sponsored the show. And it's interesting, Haesue and Gabe and I, we all felt there were some very meaningful things happening on both sides of this equation.
[00:40:55] So let's start with your side of things. In one respect, you're being pretty damn honest with your fiancée. Practicing what Haesue called a sort of radical honesty, when she asked if you would sleep with another girl, you said that if you weren't together, you would. When you started working with somebody that you slept with years ago, you were upfront about that and you told her, and when your girlfriend expressed some insecurity about how she looked, you confirmed what she already suspected to be true about herself because to use your words, you feel, "We're both adults and can acknowledge realities," and you know, fair enough, I can actually appreciate where you're coming from to some degree, but your girlfriend has a very different experience of that honesty.
[00:41:33] She tends to get jealous or envious or insecure when she learns about other women in your life. When you tell her how you really feel, she interprets that fairly or unfairly as you being insensitive and unsupportive, and you know, I get that too. It obviously doesn't feel good to hear that your partner doesn't think you'll look great, even if you kind of already suspect it. She clearly has some pressure points, maybe even some wounds that are being activated by these revelations, and it's possible that you aren't, in fact being very delicate or supportive when you say these things, maybe because you have a very different threshold for honesty, a different tolerance for difficult feedback.
[00:42:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. I think that's very likely. But what makes this even more complicated is that your girlfriend also seems to want to hear some of these things. Like that time she said, "Okay, but my body isn't banging." And you said, "Well, yeah, we know this." The unspoken rule here seems to be that she can acknowledge something difficult about herself. But as soon as you acknowledge it too, it's devastating. So it's interesting, Jordan, is she baiting him? Is she looking for reassurance or does she actually want the truth but it's just too painful to hear it confirmed?
[00:42:42] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever it is. That dynamic is very complicated. And in my opinion, it's not entirely fair to him.
[00:42:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, it really isn't. And yet you can see how he's starting to work to accommodate it, right? Now, he's actually anticipating her vulnerabilities because he knows how much these moments hurt her and he's hiding stuff from her. Like when he invited the girl he slept with to their wedding, but he didn't tell her about their past.
[00:43:04] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I'm guessing he knew he would trigger her in some way, so he lied to spare her feelings.
[00:43:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:43:09] Jordan Harbinger: Just easier to sidestep that whole drama, right?
[00:43:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: But then she found out, which only made it worse and also confirmed that he did in fact have a good reason for keeping it from her. But as Haesue pointed out, that also gives your fiancée another reason not to trust you, another reason to be insecure, which by the way, might also be why your reassurances don't seem to have much of an effect on her.
[00:43:31] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. That's the cycle. And then there's this whole thing about the knee injury. I find that super interesting too. You feel she just threw in the towel on taking care of herself. You have a hard time sympathizing with people who aren't willing to work on their challenges, and I get that. I am the same way. You are making a fair point, but your fiancée is clearly struggling with that in a way that you might not fully appreciate. What you consider a challenge, it might be an insurmountable obstacle to her.
[00:43:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. She might not have the inner resources to be as creative or as resilient as you.
[00:44:04] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. So all of that to say this situation with your fiancée, it's a lot more complicated than, "Uh, she's too insecure and I'm too honest." There's a whole swath of feelings and patterns operating underneath those qualities, and that's what's driving all of this conflict between you.
[00:44:20] So if you want to work on this with your fiancée, you're going to have to shift your lens a little bit here, rather than trying to figure out who's right and who's wrong, or trying to figure out whose tendencies or vulnerabilities are the real problem, I would try to appreciate how you and your fiancée are relating to each other, how this dynamic developed between you, how this pattern is perpetuating itself, and most importantly, how your different values and approaches, especially around this idea of telling the truth, how that's creating all this conflict.
[00:44:48] And in Haesue's view, the best place to do that would be, surprise, surprise, in therapy. Couples therapy is ideal for situations like this where both partners are bringing a lot of complex feelings and experiences to the table, and they need help in parsing them out. Haesue pointed out that couples therapy is especially helpful when there's a disconnect or a loss in meaning. You know, like, I meant this, but she took it as that. If that's happening a lot, then it would be helpful for both of you to get clear about what your statements do mean, how your fiancée makes these associations, these interpretations, which concepts are wounds, she's filtering your comments through, how they're leading her to get hurt or spin out, that's where having a professional facilitating can be a game changer.
[00:45:29] Haesue also pointed out that you guys could both benefit from individual therapy too. In my view, your girlfriend definitely needs to explore this negative self-image of hers. Where these vulnerabilities come from, how they're operating in your relationship, how she can work on them, so they're not causing her to be devastated all the time. And it would be great for you to understand how you are responding to your fiancée's vulnerabilities, where this policy of so-called radical honesty comes from, what these fights are bringing up for you. Haesue pointed out that you've probably been spending a lot of time and energy keeping your girlfriend from spiraling, which means you might not have had a chance to really look at and work on your own stuff.
[00:46:08] I know that's a lot of therapy. I know it's an investment, but if you really love this woman, and honestly, if you want your marriage to be successful, this is essential. You got to work on this stuff now.
[00:46:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely because honestly, I'm hearing a lot of exhaustion and hopelessness in this letter. You fear that her mental health is becoming an insurmountable obstacle. You feel it's becoming clear that you can't give her what she needs. That's some real end-of-the-line type talk and hey, maybe you're right. That's for you two to figure out. But I also wonder if that throwing-your-hands-up mentality, if that's maybe preventing you guys from really working on this stuff.
[00:46:47] Jordan Harbinger: I think it is. If they have a shot at overcoming this, it's almost certainly going to be in therapy, unpacking this stuff, really learning how to talk to each other. So that's how we'd approach this. Start communicating. Keep supporting your fiancée as best you can, and definitely start getting clear about what you expect from each other with respect to this whole being honest thing, because that's where you guys seem to really be missing each other — knowing how to ask for what you need, knowing when to be honest and when to be gentle, being a hundred percent on the same page about what that feedback actually means, and maybe even more importantly, having the communication skills to resolve these conflicts when they arise, which is a critical part of any successful marriage. So I hope you get to do that, and I hope you guys find those resources for yourselves and for each other.
[00:47:36] This segment was sponsored by Better Help online therapy. Big thanks again to Haesue Jo, head of clinical operations at Better Help. Go to betterhelp.com/jordan to help support the show and to get started.
[00:47:47] Haesue Jo's input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance. Haesue's feedback is in response to a written question, and therefore there are likely other unknown considerations given the limited context. Also, just because you might hear something on the show that sounds similar to what you're experiencing, be aware of self-diagnosis. Diagnosis is not required to find relief, and you'll want to find a qualified professional to assess and explore diagnosis if that's important to you. If you or your partner are in crisis and uncertain of whether you can maintain safety, reach out for support, crisis hotlines, local authorities, have a safety plan, that can be done with a therapist too.
[00:48:26] You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use descriptive subject lines that keeps things easier for us. If there's something you're going through, you're wrestling with a big decision, maybe you just need a new perspective on life, love, work. What to do if you've watched your mom be the other woman for 30 years? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:48:53] All right, next up.
[00:48:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I have a two-year-old daughter with a manipulative ex who's always trying to weasel his way back into my life. I see my daughter Thursday to Sunday, and I want to see her more often, but I have to work to make ends meet because I live alone and no one helps me pay the bills. My ex is always telling me, "Quit your job, move back in. We'll live the dream," and I'm actually considering it to see my daughter more. I feel like I'm putting my needs over hers in choosing to continue distancing myself from an emotionally abusive and manipulative ex. I just want to live a healthy, balanced life, but I don't want my daughter to suffer for it. I'm feeling lost. Should I move back in? How can I balance work and my own mental wellbeing with being the mom my daughter needs me to be? Signed, When Do You Return to the Lion's Den to Be a Mother Hen Again.
[00:49:47] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. I'm on one from that last question, so I'm just going to say no, you should absolutely, and obviously not move back in with your emotionally abusive and manipulative ex. Geez. I mean, look, I don't want to shame you for asking a question, especially when the stakes are this high. I understand there's a huge upside to that. You're spending more time with your daughter if you move in, and I know that it must be very painful to not be able to do that as a parent. I totally get it. I understand the temptation to do this, but moving back in with a dangerous person because that's what this is, this person is dangerous to you especially, just to see her more that is not the answer. The cost is just too high and you are not the only one who's going to pay that price.
[00:50:29] Your daughter will pay that price too when she sees dad yelling at mom for no freaking reason or for any reason. Mom's sticking around even though things are terrible, teaching her this little impressionable young gal that it's okay to stick around in a dangerous, abusive situation. Is that what you want for your kid? I would really urge you to consider whether that scenario is actually better than only seeing your daughter four days a week, but being healthy and free and loving during those four days of the week.
[00:50:59] Again, I get the impulse. There's no perfect outcome here. I mean, maybe dad falls in a hole in the desert. I don't know. I saw a couple of holes when I was out there.
[00:51:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Casbah, yeah.
[00:51:06] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it happens, especially around Vegas, just saying. There's a lot of holes out there, but between the two, the answer can't be move back in with this a-h*le maniac who will do anything to get you back in his orbit, including dangling your child in front of you and promising you some abstract dream after putting you through what sounds like a nightmare.
[00:51:26] So my advice, keep being the best possible mother to your daughter. Make the most of the precious time you do have with her. Love her, support, appreciate her. Be the parent she needs. Yes, she might have some wounds from this childhood. We all have something, but if she knows that you are a healthy and stable parent, you guys will have a better relationship and you will be a much better parent to her as well.
[00:51:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agreed, completely. And look, I understand that it feels like you're putting your needs over hers in choosing to distance yourself from her father. Yes, that's a tough position to be in, but to Jordan's point, you're thinking about this very narrowly because yes, you need to stay away from your ex, but that's not just for your benefit, it's also for your daughter's benefit. Getting back together. It's not going to make this relationship suddenly work. So this actually isn't selfish of you, in my opinion. It might be sad, it might be logistically difficult, it might be self-oriented, but I don't think you're being a monster by not starting up this toxic relationship again, but the guilt that you feel that is interesting.
[00:52:28] I do think that's meaningful because your anxiety about asserting your needs, your perfectly appropriate needs, that probably speaks to the part of you that's kind of uneasy about saying, "Look, this is what I want. This is what I think is best. And other people might not like it, including my ex, but it's the right thing to do." And that is a crucial skill. And obviously, it's a big part of being a parent. And so I do wonder if that's part of what contributed perhaps to the dynamic with your ex. And who knows, maybe it even shows up in other parts of your life, maybe with your daughter, maybe with other people.
[00:53:01] And if so, that would be a really important thing for you to explore because that conflict that you are responsible for someone else's feelings if you let them down or you put yourself first when you need to, basically, that you have to pay a price for prioritizing yourself in a situation where like you're not being crazy, you're just saying, "I want to be safe and healthy and happy," that could be a larger theme in your life, and so I would definitely dig into that.
[00:53:25] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point, Gabe. I could not agree more, especially since she's going to be raising a child with what sounds like, I'll just be nice here and say, a very difficult person.
[00:53:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:53:35] Jordan Harbinger: I love how much you want to be with your daughter. I appreciate that. You'd make such a big sacrifice. You, you're literally just sacrificing your own life and happiness to be there for her. If you do this, but you just can't do that at your own expense. You cannot do that, and you're going to, this is going to be at her expense too, eventually. It's just going to get worse because, maybe this guy is okay — I know this is a wishful thing. Maybe he's okay when you're not there with your daughter, but he's going to be awful to you because he already has been. And your kid seeing that is just not, but juice ain't worth the squeeze.
[00:54:05] So just keep being a great mom to her. Make sure she's happy and well taken care of, that's the main thing. Good luck. And you know, maybe keep an eye on for holes in the desert.
[00:54:17] You know, who won't try to control you by essentially holding your infant children hostage, Gabriel?
[00:54:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, is it the amazing sponsors who support the show?
[00:54:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, it is. We'll be right back.
[00:54:29] This episode is sponsored in part by HVMN. You probably heard the buzz about ketones supplements. They can boost your workouts. They help your body use fatty acids for fuel. I take a shot of HVMN'S Ketone-IQ supplement before my morning workouts. It's focused energy. The feeling is like being in the zone, but no anxiety, no jitters from too much caffeine, too much coffee. You know the feeling. Ketone-IQ come in portable, convenient shots, which are perfect for on-the-go cycling, a long run, running from meeting to meeting, pre-workout. One fair warning, I've said it before, it tastes like it works, right? They're not trying to mask the flavor with sugar and sweeteners. I guess it's pure and unadulterated, so don't be scared to try it out. It really does work. And look, it's quick, right? It's a shot. If you can drink whiskey, you can drink this. I feel much more focused and less hungry during workouts. There's better endurance. I don't get that slow down or crash at the end nearly as quick. So if you're working out hard or you're training for something, definitely give Ketone-IQ a try. I'm quite curious. Tell me what you think of it if you try it. I know a lot of you are going after it and a lot of my athlete friends use this stuff as well.
[00:55:28] Jen Harbinger: For 20 percent off your order of Ketone-IQ, go to HVMN.com promo code JORDAN. Again, that's H-V-M-N.com promo code JORDAN for 20 percent off Ketone-IQ.
[00:55:41] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive. Most of you listening right now are probably multitasking. So while you're listening to me talk, you're probably also driving, cleaning, exercising, maybe even grocery shopping. But if you're not in some kind of moving vehicle, there's something else you can be doing right now, getting an auto quote from Progressive insurance. It's easy and you can save money by doing it right from your phone. Drivers who save by switching to progressive save over $700 on average and auto customers qualify for an average of seven discounts — discounts for having multiple vehicles on your policy, being a homeowner, and more. So just like your favorite podcast, Progressive will be with you 24/7, 365 days a year. So you're protected no matter what. Multitask right now, quote your car insurance at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:56:26] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. National annual average insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Progressive between June 2020 and May 2021. Potential savings will vary. Discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations.
[00:56:40] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. It's the time of year where we start thinking about what next year we'll bring. We make New Year's resolutions to exercise more, but let's face it, will you actually stick with it? It's been proven that you're more likely to stick to a routine if it's something you enjoy, which is why so many people stick with Peloton. The instructors are so fun. It's like working out with a friend. There's a very strong Peloton community. Also, I'm all about data, and Peloton tracks your metrics so you can keep tabs on your performance over time. And right now, Peloton's got a gift for you, get up to 200 bucks off accessories like cycling shoes, heart rate monitors — both of which I have and use regularly — and more when you purchase a Peloton Bike, Bike+, or Tread, and up to a hundred dollars off accessories with the purchase of a Peloton guide, which will turn your TV into an AI-powered personal trainer. Make this the first step toward achieving your fitness goals in the new year. Choose from Peloton cycling to scenic runs, boot camps to power walks, a huge variety of classes that work for you. Taught by world-class instructors who know exactly how to get the best out of you. So don't wait, get this offer before it ends on December 25th. Visit one peloton.com. All-access membership separate offer ends December 25th, cannot be combined with other offers. See additional terms at onepeloton.com.
[00:57:47] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart, considerate listeners do, which is to take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. To learn more and get links to all of the discounts and all those URLs, they're all in one place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for a sponsor using the search box right there on the homepage of the website as well at jordanharbinger.com. Thank you so much for supporting those who support us. It really does keep us going, and it makes it possible to continue creating these episodes week after week.
[00:58:17] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:58:21] Okay, what's next?
[00:58:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm about to come into a good chunk of money. I'm working with a financial advisor who understands my goals and will help me make smart decisions with my money, but I want to take at least a portion of it to invest in travel. I'm not talking about a cruise or a resort in Jamaica. I want to go to other countries to broaden my horizons, gain a better worldview, and learn about other cultures. I'm envious of people who have extensive travel experience. The problem is I have a fear of traveling, not a fear of airplanes, but the thought of planning a trip sends me into a panic. The thought of booking flights, hotels, and getting myself around in a foreign country is completely overwhelming. I think this is because travel was never modeled for me. My parents were wonderful providers, but international travel wasn't an option on their modest salaries. I know you guys have traveled extensively. What are your tips to help me get over my fears and start enjoying the broader world? Signed, The Trepidatious Tourist Eager to Be Nourished.
[00:59:21] Jordan Harbinger: Well, hey, first of all, I love your mindset. This is really exciting. I'm very pumped for you to see the world because international travel is, in my opinion, one of the greatest joys of life. And it's also an amazing education. I totally get this. If travel isn't modeled for you when you're growing up, it can be a little scary to start doing it later in life, right? You're opening up your world, you're getting yourself into situations you might not know how to handle. And I don't even mean bad things, just mundane things like negotiating a taxi in a foreign language, or having your phone die and getting lost, or having your flight bumped and having to stay an extra night with no hotel, no plans lined up because you don't know anyone that can all be intense. But it's intense in this really fun way that teaches you how to be flexible and really builds your metal.
[01:00:06] And Gabe, I'm thinking about it, I went through a lot of this in my 20s where it's like, I'm going to go to Ukraine at age 21. I don't speak Russian or Ukrainian or whatever language they speak over there and I'm going to go.
[01:00:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:00:16] Jordan Harbinger: And I guess I'll just find some family to live with that I met at the bus station holding a sign that said, for rent, and live with some old lady. I mean, I did that kind of stuff all the time.
[01:00:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is that a real story?
[01:00:27] Jordan Harbinger: It's a real story. I remember what—
[01:00:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, you held a sign or they held a sign?
[01:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: No, no. When I went to Montenegro, I got off a bus and I was like, I guess I'll just walk around and find a hotel or sleep outside because it's warm.
[01:00:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my god.
[01:00:38] Jordan Harbinger: There was a woman who was in her, I assume late 70s, who just had a sign in Serbian that said something like, for rent. I don't remember. It's been, you know, 20 years. And I was just, "Oh, you have a room? Do you have a room for me and my buddy?" And she's like, "Ah, there's one bed, but you can sleep on the floor, you know?" And I spoke Serbian, so I had no problem communicating with her. My buddy's like, "Yeah, whatever, cool." So we slept in this woman's house and she just lived in a little cottage and she made us food every day. It was hilarious. I mean, we was probably like 20 bucks a night for both of us. And I did that stuff all the time, dude.
[01:01:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: So cool.
[01:01:13] Jordan Harbinger: I remember there was a hotel I went to in Slovenia, another part of Yugoslavia. And the guy was like, "It's full." And I said, "Nothing? Can I sleep in the lobby?" He's like, "No. Somebody actually already offered to sleep on the couch in the lobby." And I said, "Is it safe if I sleep outside?" He goes, "Honestly, you could probably just sleep on that bench and nothing would happen. If you want to leave your bag in here, that's totally cool." So I slept in a park bench in Slovenia. And you know, I would never do that now. Are you crazy?
[01:01:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[01:01:37] Jordan Harbinger: I would never freaking do that. So I understand being scared to do that when you're in your 30s or 40s or however old this writer is. You know, it's weird. I mean, I went through it in my 20s, so I'm thinking, okay, at least I'm not sleeping on a park bench when I'm sleeping in the Sahara Desert with a sh*t bucket next to me on the ground with, you know, potential scorpion issues.
[01:01:54] So the fear you feel, hey, it's completely normal. Everyone feels it to some degree, unless you don't know any better because you're too dumb like me in my 20s. Even experienced travelers, it's actually just part of the fun of traveling. And in your case, it's actually an important part of the fun because you need to confront that fear and discover that you're perfectly capable of seeing the world and there's just nothing to be afraid of, at least on the logistical front.
[01:02:19] So here's what I would do, first of all, I would not dive into the deep end head first. I would start by planning one or two smaller trips in places that are not too intense and get some practice in. You don't need to go backpacking for eight weeks through Southeast Asia or the former Eastern block. Maybe you go to a country similar to yours. I'm not sure where you're from, but if you're from the States, maybe you go to London or Montreal where you sort of speak the language where people can at least speak your language. Or you go to Mexico or Costa Rica where you're not too far. There's good tourist infrastructure. A lot of people still speak English and all that.
[01:02:52] Just ease into this. Maybe you stay at a proper hotel in a legit town, at least in the beginning. You don't book a solo eco-yurt a mile into the jungle for your first trip. You just keep things simple at first. You get some practice. You learn how to order food on a menu that you can't read, and you can even take care of other logistics in advance. Maybe you hire a driver and a fixer from the airport or make reservations or whatever. You might even want to hire somebody who's your driver, who can smooth things over If you get in a pinch, right? You're texting this guy, you're calling this guy, and you say that waiter's yelling at me. I don't know what to do, and he comes and squares things away, right? That kind of thing can really put you at ease.
[01:03:31] I would go for a week or two max at first, so you know there's an end date. You come home, you don't feel like you're signing up for something crazy. Do that a couple of times, realize you're perfectly capable of handling that kind of trip, and I bet you're going to feel a lot more confident to travel more and push the envelope a little bit. As for the anxiety about booking everything, hey, that's also normal. It's just one of the headaches of traveling. My advice there is just to do one thing at a time. First, you book your flight in and out. Couple of days later, you book the hotels. Over the next few weeks, you research, you can drive yourself crazy, trying to do it all at once. That's going to create some unnecessary panic. So just break it up. Leave a lot of white space on the schedule.
[01:04:12] On a related note, as you learn how you like to travel, you'll find the right balance between planning and serendipity. I'm guessing right now you feel like you need to plan everything out in advance, but really you just need the basics — airfare, lodging, maybe a couple of places you want to hit, maybe some transportation if necessary. After that, all you have to do is show up and be open. That's the way I like to do it. Some people like to have everything planned out in advance. Hey, that's cool. I've done trips like that. They're awesome. But if you're going to go to London, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, wherever it is, my favorite way to travel, honestly, is just to show up and see what happens. You leave your Airbnb in the morning, you have your phone, you got a few places you want to hit, and you just start walking around, grab coffee at a cool place, Uber to a cool neighborhood. You wander around, you take in the sites, chat up some random person in line at the museum or whatever, and just see where the day takes you. Now, maybe that'll make you even more anxious because it's less controlled. It depends on your personality. I actually find that easier but everybody's different. Do whatever you need to feel safe and confident and you'll learn as you go.
[01:05:20] My other recommendation, consider traveling with a friend or two if you can, especially at first. It makes things way more fun and way easier. Because here's the thing, you get stuck in the rain at rush hour, you can't get a taxi, you went the wrong way in the subway, you lost your wallet on the train, some guy's yelling at you in a language you don't understand, that becomes much more manageable if you've got a buddy to laugh about it with. Somebody to help you figure it out and walk back to the hotel in the rain with and all that. Because if they're not scared, you're not scared, and they're not scared because you're not scared and it kind of feeds off each other, right?
[01:05:52] I was just talking about this in Morocco because we were in some weird situations that I was thinking, you know, it's funny, we're all delusionally not worried at all because we're in this group, which only means we're getting abducted in a group, right? That's all that means. But everyone's like, "It's fine. We're all together." Having somebody there with you. It is weird how it works. It really does reduce a lot of the fear because you get to distribute it between the two of you and then you won't be, you're not going to be in the fetal position in the bottom bunk of a 12-person room in some creepy youth hostel from a horror movie, counting down the hours until you can get home two or three trips to somebody else, and I bet you're going to have the confidence to do some solo travel.
[01:06:27] And once you do that a few times, all the jitters are going to go away. Once you land in a cool place, you check into a dope hotel, you're having a beer on the beach, you're seeing paintings you've never seen or whatever it is, that fear is going to turn into excitement real quick, I promise you.
[01:06:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, for sure. Excitement and pride. I think he's going to be very proud to find out that he can overcome this. And that's part of the travel experience too. I know we've talked about this a bunch. I don't want to belabor at the point, but like Jordan, I would not be the person I am today without travel. It's funny, it's not just the amazing times that I'm grateful for. It's also the horrible times, you know? Like it's the disappointments, the stress, the loneliness, the almost getting scammed at the train station, the missing a flight and having to wait another nine hours for the next one. And you're sitting in the terminal reading a book that you've been meaning to read for 10 years. And finally you have the time. It's like sensory overload and solitude and the anonymity to just step back from your life and think and see things in a new way. All of that is useful too.
[01:07:29] So in my view, traveling isn't always a blast every second of the trip, but it's always interesting and it's always character building. So don't be afraid to risk the not-so-fun moments, right? Like your job isn't to make sure that nothing bad happens. Obviously, you don't want to get hurt or killed or disappear or something, but part of the travel experience is being bored and being disappointed, being frustrated, and that's part of the journey too. And weirdly, sometimes it's the most fun part of the journey.
[01:07:56] Jordan Harbinger: I think so. Well said, Gabe. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes the, quote-unquote, "bad stories" are the ones I think about and talk about the most because they're usually the most interesting.
[01:08:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, yeah.
[01:08:04] Jordan Harbinger: Nobody cares that I went to Amsterdam and saw The Scream and didn't have to ask for direction. I mean, you know, whatever.
[01:08:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:08:10] Jordan Harbinger: It's way more interesting to talk about the time that I ended up sleeping in somebody's garden and turned out that it wasn't their garden, and the guy came home and was really pissed off that he had two tourists sleeping in his freaking yard. I'm like, "But I paid 20 euros to the person who took me here. He's like, "Get out of my f*cking yard."
[01:08:29] Have fun, my man. Your mind is about to be blown. I'm so excited for you. Stay safe. Just not too safe. And don't forget to send us some pictures of you on Machu Picchu who are getting swindled in a teahouse scam or something like that.
[01:08:42] Hope you all enjoyed this. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week, everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out the Bradley Steyn two-parter if you haven't yet.
[01:08:50] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage my relationships using software, systems, and tiny habits. I mean, I did get punched in the face. That's how I booked this week's guest, but that's neither here nor there. Usually, I do so through my network and I'm teaching you how to create your own network. It's our Six-Minute Networking course, and that course is free. It's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:09:12] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers. Deals, discounts, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please support those who support the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me right there on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram, @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:09:33] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions, they're our own. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show.
[01:09:50] Dr. Margolis' input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance. And remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:10:20] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with retired astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
[01:10:25] Chris Hadfield: I watched the first two people walk in the moon and I thought, wow, I'm going to grow up to be something. Why don't I grow up to be that? That's coolest thing ever. It is purely the direct result of all of those little minute-by-minute decisions that I made since starting when I was a kid, just turned 10.
[01:10:45] When I got the telephone call asking if I would like to be an astronaut, I was at the top of my profession. I was the top test pilot in the US Navy as a Canadian, and then to be selected as an astronaut, suddenly, I'm a guy who knows nothing. I sit in my office and I'm like, I'm a complete imposter. I have zero skills right now.
[01:11:07] Whatever anybody has offered to teach me something for free, I've always taken a lot from it. How are you getting ready for the major events in your life? The things that matter to you, the things that have consequence? Are you just sort of waving your hands and go, "Oh, it'll probably turn out okay"? Or are you actually using the time available to get ready for it? Maybe it will turn out okay, but if the stakes are high, to me, that's just not a gamble I willingly take. If at some point in life you think you know everything you need to know, then you're just in the process of dying.
[01:11:34] What astronauts do for a living is visualize failure, figuring out the next thing that's going to kill you, and then practice it over and over and over again until we can beat that thing. We know how to deal with it, then you do a much better job in a more calm and comfortable way of doing it as well. You don't miss it. You're not overwhelmed by it. It's something you could do while thinking of something else. You notice how beautiful it is, how magnificent it is, how much fun it is, you're not just completely overwhelmed by the demands of the moment.
[01:12:06] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Commander Chris Hadfield managed to stay focused on his dream, starting at age nine to become the first Canadian to walk in space, check out episode 408 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:12:19] This episode is also sponsored by Going West podcast. Whether you're looking for a new true crime podcast that has minimal side talk, or one that focuses on the victim and their story, you got to check out Going West. Going West is a true crime podcast hosted by Portland, Oregon, couple, Daphne and Heath. And in each episode, they dive into various US based disappearance and murder cases, whether it's the bizarre stalking story of Dorothy Jane Scott, a young mother who received harassing phone calls before she went missing from a hospital parking lot in 1980. The tragic 1993 murder of Young Alaskan Native student, Sophie Sergie, which was finally solved in early 2022, or even the recent disappearance of Maya Millete, whose husband paid spell casters to seriously injure his wife. Going West has you covered with all the weirdness and with twice-weekly episodes, which drop every Tuesday and Friday, you're never going to run out of content. Check out Going West true crime wherever you listen to podcasts.
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