It would be wise to avoid your domestically violent ex and her creepy, extorting family, so why do you want her back so much? Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- It would be wise to avoid your domestically violent ex and her creepy, extorting family, so why do you want her back so much?
- You worked hard to 10x your income and upgrade life for you and your family, but your wife and kids disrespect and destroy whatever nice things you try to buy for them. What can you do?
- To diversify and expand your network, you’re wondering if contacting a current or past professional client outside of the work setting is okay. If so, what boundaries should be observed?
- A listener thinks we may have been unfair in our assessment of the abusive ex from the lead story in episode 926. We respond — and explain how we weigh the narrative of any story that’s shared with us!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Join us for episode 192: Rick Hanson | The Science of Hardwiring Happiness and Resilience as we explore practical techniques to rewire your brain for happiness, love, and inner peace, man!
Resources from This Episode:
- Byron Reese | Humanity’s Mysterious Journey from Antiquity to AI | Jordan Harbinger
- “Star-Lord, Who?” Scene | Guardians of the Galaxy
- Derek Jeter | Instagram
- Mosaic of N. Korean Leader Erected in Pyongyang as Part of Personality Cult | The Korea Herald
- Meet the Parents | Prime Video
- Male Victims of Domestic Abuse: All You Need To Know | Mens Group
- Expert Addresses Common Misconceptions About Men Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence | College of Public Health
- Extortion | FindLaw
- Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic
- Treating BPD | National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
- Blame’s All Mine — Her Personality’s Borderline | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Scott Lyons | Overcoming an Addiction to Drama | Jordan Harbinger
- What Is the Origin of the Phrase “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things?” | English Language & Usage Stack Exchange
- Why Networking Is the Best Insurance Policy | Jordan Harbinger
- The Big Mistake People Make About Networking | Jordan Harbinger
- David Burkus | How to Become a Networking Superconnector | Jordan Harbinger
- Is Compassion Apt for Abusive Ex, Kneecapped? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
941: Yearning for Abusive Ex Leaves You Perplexed | 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 long range battery, carrying this electric vehicle of wisdom across the rugged terrain of life advice without having to stop even once, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:17] 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 our mission here on the show is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker.
[00:00:31] And during the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of incredible folks from arms dealers, drug traffickers, hostage negotiators, astronauts, investigative journalists, and Hollywood directors.
[00:00:40] This week we had Byron Reese on language stories and the brain with a brief detour about North Korea travel's, really cool conversation. On Fridays though, we share stories, take listener letters, offer advice, play obnoxious soundbites, and come up with increasingly zany metaphors for Gabe and my collaboration.
[00:00:56] So before we kick off, I remember this weird, ridiculous story about this shady guy, that I met in LA who was like a life coach.
[00:01:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, great. I can't wait to hear this. Tell me.
[00:01:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this guy, I mean, there's life coaches that are just like people whose lives are a mess and they decide they want to teach other people to have lives that are put together. Those people are kind of a joke, but like —
[00:01:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:01:14] Jordan Harbinger: — you feel kind of sad for them.
[00:01:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:01:16] Jordan Harbinger: This guy was much more dangerous, I guess.
[00:01:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, okay.
[00:01:19] Jordan Harbinger: So I met this scammy dude years ago, and a bunch of my friends at the time were talking about this guy named Carl. "Oh, we take classes with Carl." "Oh, you know Carl?" It was just like, and I'm like, "Who is this guy?"
[00:01:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: My hackles are already raised because the name Carl just has like this low key, culty, scammy vibe to it, especially when people keep saying it over and over again. Like, Carl is so great. We've been doing classes with Carl, and you're like, ugh.
[00:01:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, Carl taught me. Carl said, yeah. Okay. So anyway, he had this fake ass backstory that he was a copy machine repairman back in the day. Fine. That I believe.
[00:01:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, you mean like Kinco's machine like that?
[00:01:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, like he repaired copiers that copied paper.
[00:01:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:01:59] Jordan Harbinger: But then he ends up at the Pentagon or something because yeah —
[00:02:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh sure.
[00:02:02] Jordan Harbinger: — their copy machine got stuck. So who do they call? Some guy with no security clearance to come in and unjam the thing because you know, and so apparently what he unjammed from the copier are these top secret documents and plans about a moon base or whatever, where they're keeping like UFOs that they find.
[00:02:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow.
[00:02:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:02:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. I mean, it's incredibly dumb and thin, but it's kind of a funny cinematic version of how he came by these weird documents.
[00:02:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:02:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: He was fixing the copy machine at NASA or whatever.
[00:02:29] Jordan Harbinger: And it's a good filter because if you have zero critical thinking skills, you're like, "Whoa."
[00:02:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:02:34] Jordan Harbinger: But if you ask, how plausible is this? Even once the whole thing just disintegrates at the seams.
[00:02:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:02:40] Jordan Harbinger: So he's, of course, also a well-known UFO whistleblower, which means —
[00:02:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:45] Jordan Harbinger: — somebody who has convinced others that they know something because they made up some sh*t in their kitchen one day.
[00:02:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:02:50] Jordan Harbinger: Also, he used to sell these pills that he said would help, and I quote, "reconstruct your DNA" so that you could make more money.
[00:03:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh wow.
[00:03:00] Jordan Harbinger: Because something, something DNA money, DNA is in your DNA and like people are capped or maxed at whatever's in their DNA, so you got to take this pill. And each pill was like $3,000. I'm not even in it. It was like it was, and what's in there? It's probably like a pill that has magnesium in it or just like, you know, Chinese sawdust.
[00:03:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, niacin.
[00:03:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And so some friends of mine who I knew were kind of a little rough run. They were like, "Hey, uh, do we have enough money to buy more pills from Carl to reconstruct our DNA?" And my other friend who was his business partner would be like, "Nah, not this month. We're a little thin." I'm like, you guys are so dumb. This is not real.
[00:03:40] Anyway, he would also get people on roller skates. One of his little drills was he'd get you on roller skates and he'd go, "Okay, try to do the splits on these skates." Okay. So of course, you can't do it unless you're like a roller skate dancer who's super flexible.
[00:03:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:03:53] Jordan Harbinger: So you fall forward, backwards, sideways, and he'd go, "Well, how you do anything is how you do everything." By the way, I've subscribed to that principle, at least in some respects.
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. So do I.
[00:04:03] Jordan Harbinger: It's true, right? Like it's so vague. You can stretch that to mean anything. But anyway, this guy weaponized that idea in the dumbest possible way. So he'd get those people on roller skates, and then he'd be like, "Oh, you have a lack of balance." And he'd twisted into this metaphor for your life. Or he'd be like, "Oh, you can't do the splits. Oh, you're leaning forward a lot. You're probably leaning forward too much in your career, and you're getting a little bit out over your skis." And people would be like, "Oh yeah, I do rush into relationships or whatever." And he would charge a sh*t load of money for these sessions.
[00:04:31] And I was just thinking like, how dumb are these people? How do they get roped in? Well, one night we were at a party at my friend's girlfriend's house and she played the harp. And the harp was out during the party. And I'm like, can I try this? Because I've never touched anything like this. And the harps are like 20 grand or something like that. They're crazy. They're humongous, they're beautiful. I was like, I want to try this, but I don't want to break it. She's like, "You won't break it."
[00:04:52] So I sit down and I'm plucking on the harp and I'm like, wow, this is really satisfying. And he's up there in the room and there's a lot of girls around because my friend was just playing the harp and she's really good at it. And so this guy is like, "Oh, do you see how well Jordan plays the harp?" I'm like, "Well, I've never touched this thing before. So, you know?" He's like, "No, no, no, but the way your fingers naturally strike these, like the resonance, blah, blah, blah, universe something." And the girls are just like, "Yeah. Oh, it's so amazing. You're naturally good at that."
[00:05:20] And he's sort of encouraging them to do that. And he'd be like, "Go sit next to Jordan and put your hands on his shoulders and see if his heart playing improves." I'm like, that doesn't make any sense, but I see what you're doing here. And I realized, he's like, "Oh, this is a guy. If I throw girls at him, that's like the number one trigger for probably a single guy to make him feel awesome." So he's just like, "I'll do that." So the unspoken thing here was, "Come to my little cult meetings and I'll throw girls at you all the time."
[00:05:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Right.
[00:05:49] Jordan Harbinger: It was like this unspoken, but really obvious thing that he kept trying to highlight to like, make sure I got it. You know, like he made one girl like sit on my lap or something while I was playing. He's like, "Let's see if this changes your harp playing or whatever." It was like, dude, calm down. So it was very silly, very transparent. But this guy had a ton of clients in la of course, guys and gals. And it was really, really fascinating to see how these little cults form. And people didn't like worship him or anything, but they gave him all of their money. Okay. This guy was making multiple six figures from like a group of maybe 40 people.
[00:06:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:06:22] Jordan Harbinger: And it was really, really interesting to see this happen in real time to me in a way, and people around me. Of course, I didn't end up doing anything with him because I just thought it was really dumb. But yeah, weird ending to the story. He ended up getting hit by a truck while riding a bike, like a semi-truck.
[00:06:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:06:42] Jordan Harbinger: And of course, people were like, oh, they wanted him to stop talking about the secret moon base.
[00:06:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:06:50] Jordan Harbinger: Even his death was just consistent with the general tone of his life. Like, why were you riding a bike on the highway if you're like this wealthy cult leader?
[00:06:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:57] Jordan Harbinger: And then it's like, oh, well that doesn't even make any sense. This must just be the story. So basically like Epstein didn't kill himself except for like, that might actually be true. Yeah, that one's possible. This one, not so much.
[00:07:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's so bizarre. That sounds like a low key version of every cold talk on HBO that we've been talking about for the last three weeks. That's so bizarre.
[00:07:17] Jordan Harbinger: I have to give Carl a little credit. He didn't seem to be sexually assaulting anyone or making anybody do anything horrible. He was just like a crappy scammy thief at worst.
[00:07:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:07:29] Jordan Harbinger: Which is weird that you're like, oh, he wasn't that bad. All he did was steal people's money and lie to them. It's like, that's how bad cult get right. Eh, at least he didn't take your sense of agency away from you or isolate you from your family or, you know, kill you.
[00:07:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, you got any more of those pills lying around or —
[00:07:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. By the way, if anybody wants some DNA altering money pills, I think we can repurpose.
[00:07:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just send us a check for eight to 10 grand.
[00:07:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: And uh, we'll send them in a Feedback Friday envelope for you.
[00:07:57] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:07:58] All right. What's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:08:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. 12 years ago when I was 37, I got into a serious relationship with a woman who was 22. At first, I was reluctant because I thought she was too young, but we had an amazing connection, physical chemistry, the same sense of humor, a love for doing the same things. Everything just clicked. Three years into the relationship, however, I still hadn't met her family. She said it was because her parents disapproved that I was so much older. But right after she moved into my house, I was suddenly invited over for dinner to meet the parents and the half-brother. She also had an estranged half-sister that the family didn't talk to because she was a prostitute and a drug addict.
[00:08:40] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:08:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: The moment I entered their home, I knew she had been hiding them from me. They were extremely eccentric and just plain weird. They had murals of their naked daughter and Derek Jeter painted on the floors. They told me they produced the Halloween movies, which was easily debunked within 30 seconds, and seemed to lie about everything to make themselves seem grandiose. Her dad called himself The Lord and said he was a descendant of French royalty despite being a Jewish family living in the suburbs. Obviously, many alarm bells went off that night for me.
[00:09:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so they were just completely nuts. Imagine meeting your father-in-law for the first time and he is like, "Eh, don't call me Steve. Just call me "The Lord."
[00:09:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Can you imagine? Uh, okay. "The Lord, can I get another strawberry lime LaCroix"
[00:09:32] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, it's like Guardians of the Galaxy where Chris Pratt is like, "Call me Star-Lord." And everyone just starts laughing and making fun of him, and he's just standing there getting tooled by like a talking fox or whatever.
[00:09:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: That would be me at their Thanksgiving dinner.
[00:09:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. I don't know how you say that with a straight face.
[00:09:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I don't get it personally. I would've just bailed the second I saw Derek Jeter on this dude's parquet floor, but —
[00:09:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:09:53] Jordan Harbinger: — that's me.
[00:09:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is not something you want to look at every day.
[00:09:55] Jordan Harbinger: I'm more of a Kevin Durant on my living room floor guy.
[00:09:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:09:58] Jordan Harbinger: I guess.
[00:09:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, actually, I see you more as a Kim Jong-un mural on your bedroom wall kind of guy.
[00:10:03] Jordan Harbinger: That's accurate. And at least that's art. That's at least saying something.
[00:10:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:10:06] Jordan Harbinger: And it probably covers the whole wall. But more importantly, the naked daughter mural. We probably should have just started with that. That is a major red flag. I mean, do you just not step on the naughty bits when you're taking your plates over to the sink? That seems disrespectful.
[00:10:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't even think about that. Also, how do you ask an artist to paint that for you and not stop and go, "Hmm, maybe I need to give this another thing"?
[00:10:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And do you have to pay the artist extra to not call the police for painting a picture of your underage daughter? He's got to have something to work with, right? So you're just like, "Here's the picture of a 15-year-old girl that's naked. Can you paint this on the living room floor?"
[00:10:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: So terrible.
[00:10:41] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it's probably a DIY job. But that makes it even worse, actually.
[00:10:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: It does make it even worse. What a family.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is like meet the parents on acid or something. I mean, this would be enough to make me run, but I understand that it's not his girlfriend's fault who her parents are. And okay, they have this amazing connection, so maybe —
[00:10:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Maybe overlook the rampant mental illness for sure.
[00:11:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, basically. So he goes on.
[00:11:03] When I brought this up, when we got home, my girlfriend got extremely angry and started throwing things. I quickly learned not to birch the subject, thinking that she must have gotten teased about her father when she was young. Three months later, the crazy parents moved to LA —
[00:11:17] Speaking of LA and all the crazy people you meet there.
[00:11:19] Jordan Harbinger: To get coaching with Carl. Yeah.
[00:11:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Sell some pills.
[00:11:23] Three months later, the crazy parents moved to LA to make a reality TV show about themselves and I thought I could isolate myself from them.
[00:11:31] Well, that fits, doesn't it?
[00:11:32] Jordan Harbinger: 100 percent a reality TV show family. I'm actually a little bummed he didn't include their names, so we could look up the show or this unaired pilot or whatever. Because something tells me I would just be hooked.
[00:11:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that would be so great.
[00:11:45] My girlfriend seemed to be the only normal one in the family, had a great group of friends and a great job. And the next three years were some of the happiest of my life. Then in year seven of the relationship, her behavior started to change.
[00:11:59] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, here we go. All right, let's hear it.
[00:12:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: She was still amazing 85 percent of the time, but she would suddenly have drastic mood swings, become emotionally abusive, and say things like, "No wonder your ex-wife left you," in front of my friends.
[00:12:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:12:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: I thought it could manage it, but sometimes felt like I was walking on eggshells, trying desperately not to trigger this temper.
[00:12:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm so curious actually why this all started to come out seven years later. Usually when you're dating a crazy person —
[00:12:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Same.
[00:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: — it's like one, two months in, you're like, oh, this is not —
[00:12:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:27] Jordan Harbinger: — there's a lot of stuff wrong here.
[00:12:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something happens.
[00:12:29] Jordan Harbinger: Seven years.
[00:12:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: Was she hiding her crazy the whole time? Did something happen to trigger this? Are there disorders that show up later, generally? I know schizophrenia, for example, shows up in like your 20s. This doesn't sound like that, but is there other stuff that shows up?
[00:12:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, this doesn't sound like schizophrenia.
[00:12:45] And she was 22 already. And I know it comes a little later for women when it does happen, but I don't think that's what's going on. It feels like it would be hard to hide this kind of thing for seven years. So my gut is telling me something happened unless she's just really good at playing the long game.
[00:12:59] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, maybe she was just bummed that he never commissioned a mural of Alex Rodriguez on their living room floor.
[00:13:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's it. That, that must explain it. It's a classic mistake. Okay. Feedback Friday case open and shut. So he goes on.
[00:13:14] It soon became violent. One time she threw a plate and hit me in the head for coming home an hour late. Another time, she jumped out of my moving car because she didn't like the way I said goodbye to her friend at brunch. She would smack me in the face while I was driving home, go through my phone when I was sleeping, and constantly accuse me of things I didn't do. I stupidly thought that she couldn't really hurt me because she was a woman and I was a guy, but I had to get stitches one night because she threw something at me.
[00:13:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh gosh, this is really bad. This is actually kind of terrifying.
[00:13:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. This is starting to sound like a domestic abuse situation, I think it's fair to say.
[00:13:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And he's the guy, right? So he's not registering it as abuse. Look, I'm sorry this happened to you, but this is really intense.
[00:13:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: This rollercoaster continued for another nine months.
[00:14:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:14:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I got the sense that this was somehow linked to some trauma from these crazy parents and tried to get her to go to therapy and open up, but she would always say it was me that only I brought this temper out.
[00:14:12] Wow. Interesting. That's a very, that's a telling response.
[00:14:16] Jordan Harbinger: I think so. Of course, it's related to her parents. You don't grow up with your tata's oil painted on the kitchen splash guard, and come out unscathed.
[00:14:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my God. Sorry, I'm dying. That was an amazing image. Yeah. I love that. Her response to, "Hey, maybe you should talk to somebody," was, "No, it's your fault I threw a West Elm plate at your head and sent you to the ER. So maybe watch your mouth." Like what?
[00:14:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's classic projection, right? But to be fair to her and whatever she's wrestling with or was wrestling with, that's probably how it felt to her. Like only he's pushing her buttons. She was totally fine, except around him.
[00:14:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: But even if that's true, that doesn't mean it was he specifically who did this to her. Any serious romantic partner might have triggered her in this way because being in love and being vulnerable probably tapped into all of this unresolved childhood trauma.
[00:15:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right. She's going, "You bring this out of me, but she's not going, "Hmm, I wonder why I'm like this when this happens."
[00:15:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Also, just to be fair, and reading in between the lines, we don't know what he said or what he did, or how he showed up, or how he might have accidentally even provoked her in some way. But we're only getting one side of the story here, which is often the case. Anyway, let's just acknowledge that and we'll come back to it. So he goes on.
[00:15:28] I was deeply in love with her and my instinct was to help and save her, which kept me holding on. Then one night, close to our seventh anniversary, she attacked me physically slapping and scratching me. I locked her out on our deck to keep away from her until she calmed down, but she smashed through the window to come back in. When I went to stop her, she punched, scratched, and slapped me, and when I pushed out with open palms to stop her attack, she leaned in and my open palm caught her nose, which started bleeding. I immediately opened the door and went to get her some ice apologizing profusely, but she was hysterical, screaming, "I'm calling the police. I begged her not to saying she would get herself arrested as she had assaulted me," but she called anyway. When the police showed up, they arrested me for assault despite the fact that I had marks and scratches all over my face, which they refuse to take pictures of. When I asked why she wasn't being arrested, the police replied, "You're the guy. Tell it to the court."
[00:16:26] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, God. So yeah, this is a very real thing. I've heard versions of this story from several attorney friends of mine. The police are often just useless in situations like this. And a lot of those guys in these situations also are stereotypical a-h*les, not all cops, yada, yada. But often we're dealing with guys, they're like, "I've seen it all. I'm not wrong. My first gut instinct is definitely correct in all cases." A lot of these guys are high on their own authority. They don't want to deal with the nuances of a case despite being victims of cognitive bias like anybody else.
[00:16:55] And before people write in with a all caps email about back in the blue, I heard this from cops who listened to this show. So, uh, maybe take a seat in a deep breath because apparently this is a real thing that police departments try to mitigate and it doesn't work because a lot of cops are stubborn just like everybody else.
[00:17:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: We've also heard the same thing in a couple of Feedback Friday letters over the years too. So this definitely happens.
[00:17:17] Jordan Harbinger: I don't want to derail us too much here, but this is a really disturbing phenomenon, how men are often overlooked as the victims of domestic abuse. And look, I get it, violence against women is horrifying. It's very prevalent, which is of course tragic. And it is usually men who hurt women and guys don't generally look like typical victims. So I do understand where the bias comes from, but there's also a ton of research that shows that the system, so police officers, judges, doctors, they routinely fail to recognize the abuse of men and often overlook cases involving female abusers.
[00:17:52] This, despite the fact that somewhere between one in 10 and one in seven men will actually experience intimate partner violence. It depends on the source you read, but those stats are from reputable domestic violence nonprofits. You can chalk that up to a lack of training or awareness or cultural bias, but it is concerning.
[00:18:08] Anyway, sorry to interrupt. I'm not trying to gloss over how many women are hurt by their partners or the fact that we're only hearing from the guy in this case. It's just very interesting to hear this statistic come to life in this story.
[00:18:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was immediately banned from communicating with her, or even returning to my own house, which I owned outright. Over the next few weeks, her dad started reaching out, saying he was my only friend, that she had told everyone I had punched her in the face unprovoked, and that only he could fix the situation. I was desperate to heal things with her, so I listened to him. Five weeks later, he told me, "Listen, I can make this whole situation go away, but we're going to need a big number in the five to six figures from you.
[00:18:51] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What a piece of crap this guy is. This guy is gross. So he's straight up extorting you. What a shameless assh*le. I can't believe it.
[00:19:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: To which I replied, "Ugh, that's extortion," and promptly stopped communicating with anyone associated with her.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: First of all, good move, this family — man, I called it the second you see a life-sized mural of a major league baseball star on somebody's living room floor, you run.
[00:19:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Run. Get out of it. Yeah.
[00:19:15] Jordan Harbinger: Saw this kind of thing coming a mile away.
[00:19:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: If it's a football player stay. But if baseball, it's like that's a red flag.
[00:19:20] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Yeah.
[00:19:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Capitalizing on your daughter's instability to shake down your possible future son-in-law for money while simultaneously calling yourself The Lord and insisting that you descended from royalty is amazing. Just zero self-awareness here.
[00:19:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, none. None self-awareness.
[00:19:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: None at all. So he goes on.
[00:19:40] Six months and $50,000 later, I got the charges dropped after it came to light that she had actually told the truth on recorded testimony an hour after the incident. She admitted to attacking me and said she thought it was an accident that my palm caught her.
[00:19:55] Jordan Harbinger: Unreal. First of all, I'm so glad your attorney uncovered that video, but I want to highlight this. That means she literally told these jag off cops that she attacked you and the bloody nose was an accident and they still, and the prosecutor, of course, also in this, didn't drop the charges against you. So they made you go through six months of pure dread slash hell and a crap ton of money to then be forced to admit that they knew from the assailant herself from the beginning that you weren't the perpetrator.
[00:20:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Isn't that something?
[00:20:24] Jordan Harbinger: Look, I'm sorry. That's unconscionable. I am outraged over here. I don't know what you can even do. I would just consider suing the police department and be like, you guys are incompetent pieces of crap and deserve to pay me. Look, you're a cop. You show up to a domestic violence call a woman is bleeding. I understand why you arrest the guy. I get it. Even if the situation is ambiguous, it's hard to ignore a woman whose nose is literally bleeding, and I'm sure nine plus times out of 10, the guy is the one who initiated, instigated whatever, did it to her.
[00:20:52] But then the alleged victim tells you or tells some detective an hour later on camera that she was the one who attacked her partner and the injury was an accident. And they don't go, "Oh, well, let's just send these people home or charge her for this." I mean, this is just profoundly unjust. I'm pretty gobsmacked over here. Again, I don't mean to harp on this, but we're getting a fascinating glimpse into how certain domestic violence cases unfold. I mean, how many thousands and thousands of people have been in this guy's shoes. It's terrifying to think about.
[00:21:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is a sobering thought for sure. So he goes on.
[00:21:27] I started dating, but nothing ever came close to the connection we had, and I couldn't stop thinking about her. So I did about 60 hours of therapy to try and heal. And when I described my ex's behavior, the therapist said that it sounded like textbook borderline personality disorder.
[00:21:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. So that tracks according to my professional opinion as a podcaster and professional agony uncle.
[00:21:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also could explain the projection that he mentioned earlier. That's very common with BPD. You often project out whatever is too painful to confront yourself. But also, let's remember that BPD is usually caused by childhood trauma, which this woman sounds like she has in spades.
[00:22:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I do feel for her on that level. She's gone through a lot.
[00:22:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: So he goes on.
[00:22:12] Then almost a year after the split, her estranged sister contacted me on Facebook. Turns out what my ex had told me about her couldn't have been further from the truth.
[00:22:22] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh. I kind of love when that happens. It's a great twist.
[00:22:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Me, too.
[00:22:25] Jordan Harbinger: And I did wonder in the back of my head if this was just their version of events to cover why the only sane person in the family doesn't talk to them anymore. But I was on the fence, right? Because of course, being a drug addicted prostitute is also a reasonable outcome of having Derek Jeter painted on your kitchen floor and having a dad who calls himself The Lord and et cetera, et cetera. So now it's like, "Oh no, she left because she woke up." Yeah.
[00:22:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, the truth comes out. She filled me in on a lot of things. For example, that their dad wasn't her real dad, but her stepdad, and he made the kids bathe with him when they were 12, would have sex with the mom in front of them as children, would make them do malicious things to one another to compete for his love. Just an absolute monster of a human being.
[00:23:09] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, that's gross. That's super disturbing. So The Lord did a number on these kids. No wonder she's melting down and flinging plates at your head, man, she was abused, severely abused. This woman is totally traumatized. She probably has no idea how to address any of this. I'm not letting her off the hook for the abuse toward you. I'm just appreciating how she got to this point. It's pretty disgusting.
[00:23:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: She also told me that both the mom and the stepdad had attacked their ex-spouses and then filed false police reports against them. Sound familiar?
[00:23:38] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:23:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: This estranged sister was smart enough to get away from them and was quickly demonized by this narcissistic sociopath of a stepfather. It's clear to me that my ex is brainwashed by him.
[00:23:49] Jordan, I just want to stop and appreciate that the night she brought our friend home to meet her parents for the first time.
[00:23:55] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: She was bringing him home to meet her literal abuser.
[00:23:59] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:23:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, just think about that. How —
[00:24:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: — weird and loaded that evening must have been for her.
[00:24:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. No wonder it took until they were moved in. The guy probably then insisted on meeting this dude at that point and she just couldn't hide him anymore.
[00:24:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I hadn't thought about it that way. It's really, really sad. I get why she was hiding them, but I'm also shocked that she still talks to them at all. Although I'm sure that's kind of part of the trauma and the abuse, right?
[00:24:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think this is also a clue to why she didn't want to go to therapy, because then she would have to talk about all of this. And how do you do that?
[00:24:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's just too painful. It's probably just easier to blame him for bringing out all this pain than to tell a therapist, "Yeah. My boyfriend makes me want to throttle him when he doesn't say goodbye to my friends the right way after mimosas, and I need to get a handle on why I am jumping out of moving cars as a reaction to a conversation."
[00:24:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: So he goes on.
[00:24:46] Despite all of this, there hasn't been a day I haven't thought about her or wanted to somehow save her from these psychotic parents. We haven't seen or spoken to each other live since the night we broke up, although she did prank call me for three years and continues to try and follow my social media using fake accounts.
[00:25:04] Hmm. Okay. Interesting. Let's come back to that.
[00:25:08] Her family is now in Mexico running away from debt, but I know she continues to lead a normal life with a great job and a hugely supportive and large group of friends. I can't seem to let go of the six amazing years we had or the dream of somehow watching her heal and get away from her parents. What should I do? Should I try and contact her? Signed, Still Not Content and Longing for My Ex Who's Enthralled to These Crazy Rants.
[00:25:34] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, what a tale. I think we've got a new Feedback Friday Classic on our hands.
[00:25:38] Gabe, there's so much going on in this letter. It's just remarkable. And you know, it really does speak to the state of the economy when even French royalty has to run to Mexico to escape debt.
[00:25:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Thanks, Biden.
[00:25:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, thanks a lot, Joe Biden, Obama.
[00:25:52] Let me start by saying, I'm so sorry that you went through this. I'm also very sorry that your ex had this childhood and these parents that they're just so weird. I know that we're having a bit of a laugh about the Derek Jeter thing and the whole call me The Lord stuff. And honestly, it is a little bit funny, okay? But this guy, he's a narcissist, he's a manipulator. He's a criminal also and abuser, a child abuser and an adult abuser. What he did and continues to do is horrifying. And my heart really goes out to your ex for what he put her through.
[00:26:20] I also want to acknowledge, because I already hear a few of you typing angry emails to us about this. I know we're only hearing one side of the story here.
[00:26:28] Gabe, I think you actually have an interesting letter about this at the end of the episode.
[00:26:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I do. It's such interesting timing. I cannot wait to get to that letter. But yeah, let's come back to that idea.
[00:26:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I won't belabor the point, but just to say, I recognize we only have our friend here's facts to go on. We don't know if he did anything to provoke her or how he showed up in the conflict, what he left out of the letter. But candidly, I'm finding the account pretty credible. I was waiting to see how the story unfolded before making up my mind, but when he got to the part about her confessing on recorded video to attacking him, which again, we only have his word to go on, but that sounds pretty cut and dried. I'm like, okay. I think we have enough information to generally know who's who in this story.
[00:27:03] Now, that doesn't mean that you didn't play a significant role in the relationship. It doesn't mean you didn't push her buttons even inadvertently or unknowingly. It doesn't mean you didn't pick a partner who did this to you. I'm not implying you deserve it, by the way, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests that this woman emotionally and physically abused you. You have the physical wounds and the emotional scars and the lawyers' fees to prove it.
[00:27:24] So yeah, I feel for you man, and thank you for sharing all this with us. Now, I don't think our answer to your question is going to come out as a surprise, but if you listen to the show, you probably know how we feel about getting back together with a problematic ex. But let's just take a moment to appreciate why reaching out to your ex and rekindling things would be a terrible idea for both of you.
[00:27:46] Based on what you've shared, your girlfriend has serious trauma, serious trauma. That is not her fault, but as we talked about on our end of year episode a couple of weeks ago, it is her responsibility to address this stuff. And she is just not doing that. She's not even trying. And when you encourage her to talk to somebody, she rejected the advice and then turned around and blamed you, which like we said, sure it makes sense given her probable diagnosis, but that tells me not only is she not trying to get better, she's not even open to the idea of getting better, and she might not even realize how troubled she actually is.
[00:28:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, she's still wrapped up in these incredibly toxic and frankly dangerous parents and the whole family. That is bad news for both of you. Even more so now that they're running away from debt, I mean, who knows who they even owe money to. It could be criminals. Given The Lord's MO, these are not people you want tracking you down for information about the parents or trying to hit you up for money. From where I'm sitting, you do not want to be anywhere near these people, full stop.
[00:28:45] Jordan Harbinger: Also, your ex continues to display a lot of questionable behavior. You haven't talked since this all went down, but she what? Prank called you for three years?
[00:28:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: We have to talk about it.
[00:28:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's cuckoo. And she's following your social media using fake accounts. All right, fine. Maybe you can forgive that. Maybe that's just a little petty, immature stuff. Whatever. She wants to keep tabs on you. That's her only way. Still kind of creepy in my opinion, but whatever. But prank calling you her ex of seven years, eh, it's super weird. It's immature, it's creepy, it's dumb.
[00:29:16] All of this, frankly, paints a picture of a person who is highly unstable, compromised, still very much obsessed with you, which by the way, also sadly common with BPD. And I know her being obsessed with you. That might even seem like a compliment and a point in the, maybe I should rekindle things column. But it is not, this woman has a lot of work to do on herself, a lot. She should not be fixating on you. She should be focusing on herself and trying to figure out how things got so bad and while your relationship ended the way that it did, how her childhood has shaped her, all of that.
[00:29:47] My take, my unequivocal take is to stay away. Leave this relationship in the past where it belongs. And candidly, I think you're lucky. You made it out as unscathed as you did, man. A different version of events that night, another chaotic year together, more mental health challenges. Who knows what she might have done to you, which she could still do to you if you were to open that door? So for the love of God, for the love of the Lord, leave that door closed.
[00:30:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Of course, I agree with you, Jordan. The next natural question is, why do you want to open it so badly?
[00:30:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's valid. Well, he's saying, "There hasn't been a day in which I haven't thought about her. I wanted to save her." By the way, save her? That was like the alarm hitting when he said that. In his own way, he's kind of, I use the term lightly obsessed with her too. I get the impulse though.
[00:30:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: But that's an impulse he really needs to investigate both why this woman has such a hold on him, given how violently and chaotically she behaved and what she provoked in him and how he responded to her, and also why he has this impulse, to your point, to save somebody who doesn't always seem to want to save herself. I mean, that is probably part of the answer right there. I think he's responding to this personality very strongly. He sees how she was treated as a child, how her parents still have a hold over her. He sees her chaos, he sees her helplessness, how Ill-equipped she is to address any of this.
[00:31:05] And so I guess on some level I can understand that he feels compelled to save this person he really caress about. And how amazing would it be to see this woman turn around and tell her parents, "You guys are insane. I'm not going to be part of the family in the same way anymore," and work on all of this. I can imagine that would be very gratifying, but those are not feelings to act on, in my opinion. Those are feelings for you to unpack and explore.
[00:31:26] And look, I get it. You had great chemistry, you wanted similar things. She was successful. She is successful in certain parts of her life and you haven't met anyone else you like as much since. But that's not the full story for you to tolerate or overlook all of the objectively hurtful and dangerous things that she did to you and the weird positions that she put you in, namely with the police. That is very concerning and that is really what I think you need to dig into now.
[00:31:52] Jordan Harbinger: Look, I was happy to hear he went to therapy after the breakup. He went to 60 sessions and that's, it's a lot. That's terrific. But honestly, I think he needs to go back there because there's just a lot more for him to talk about.
[00:32:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also wonder if that therapy was a little narrow in focus. He said he went to heal from the relationship. I support that, of course, but in longer term, ongoing therapy with the right person, he would have an opportunity to dig a lot deeper into this relationship and also his own past. You know, figure out the origins of his own patterns that are now telling him to reach back out to a person who flung plates at his head and upended his entire life.
[00:32:27] Also, not that you need another reason to let sleeping dogs lie here, but when you say that your ex continues to lead a normal life with a great job and big group of friends, they're very supportive, I think you might be romanticizing her or idealizing her a little bit here. You know, given everything you've told us, I do find it hard to believe that she is leading a totally normal life. She might look like she's functioning pretty well, and maybe she is in some respects, but you know better than anybody that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface.
[00:32:56] I don't know what to make of this hugely supportive and large group of friends. I mean, does their support necessarily mean that she's healthy? What kind of people are they? What does their support even look like?
[00:33:07] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like, are they supporting her by saying, "You don't have anything to work on, girl, it was all him"? Or are they truly supporting her by saying, "Hey, I'm concerned about you and this relationship, and I'm here to talk."
[00:33:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:18] Jordan Harbinger: "And I do think you should be working on this in therapy." There's two very different kinds of support here.
[00:33:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. I also think it's interesting that she has a large group of friends, and I'm going to wildly speculate here, but I do wonder if having a ton of friends implies that she's not particularly close with any of them.
[00:33:35] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting.
[00:33:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: If that's the case, that might also be a way to avoid some of the intimate conversations and revelations that would get into this territory that we know she's working very hard to avoid. It could also mean avoiding conversations with these friends that might push the same buttons that our friend here did.
[00:33:50] If being close with people in general is what taps into these early wounds. Anyway, all that to say your reasons for thinking that your ex is now a safe person for you. I'm just not sure they hold up. I think you might be looking at the exterior a little too much here, like her job and her friends and discounting other factors like the fact that she's low key stalking and prank calling you to say nothing of the history of abuse and false report to the police.
[00:34:17] So I find myself wondering if that might also be part of the reason you're drawn to her, why it's hard for you sometimes to see her objectively.
[00:34:25] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's a good point, Gabe. I think he does have some blind spots when it comes to this woman. And that's another thing he needs to look at, but bottom line, yeah, do not reach out to her. This relationship was dangerous. It was terrible. I know there was all that whole but the good times, right? Come on, man. It should serve as a lesson to you and what kind of people you want to get involved with.
[00:34:42] The fact that you haven't met anyone who makes you feel the way she does. Uh, okay. That's interesting in and of itself because why do you feel so passionately for a person who essentially ruined your life, you know?
[00:34:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:54] Jordan Harbinger: That's probably a good question to bring into therapy.
[00:34:56] I wonder, you ever hear about Gabe, how people are like addicted to the drama in a relationship? I'm not saying that's what this guy is, but those ups and downs, they trigger dopamine and stuff in all these unhealthy ways. That's not something you want to continue to do to yourself.
[00:35:10] It reminds me a lot of my interview with Dr. Scott Lyons. That was episode 836. We talk about drama addiction, which apparently is, it's a real thing.
[00:35:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: That would be such an interesting listen for him. I'm curious to know if he sees any of his relationship in that interview. But you know also the fact that you haven't met someone who moves you the way this woman did, that does not mean that she and only she is the one for you.
[00:35:31] Jordan Harbinger: Correct. It means you haven't found the right person yet and you should keep looking, not go back to the one that fit the mold the best, except for that whole ruining your life part.
[00:35:39] And look, even if you never found somebody who compelled you the way she did, I would still tell you to stay away because the good stuff came with all that awful stuff and it's just not worth it, man. That's why you got to unpack this stuff and get clear on the kind of person you do want to be with.
[00:35:54] Look, if she just kind of had like bad breath, but everything else was awesome, or she like had some issue where she got depressed here and there, but everything else was great, fine, but she tried to get you thrown in prison. Okay, where do you draw the line, homie? Come on. So if you do the work, you unpack this stuff one day you might find yourself drawn to somebody who's super peaceful and loving and wants to work on herself, and it might not feel like fireworks all the time and it won't have those addictive ups and downs perhaps. But that would be a good sign. That's progress.
[00:36:24] So you know what to do. Good luck, man. We're happy. You're okay now. We're wishing you all the best. Uh, don't jump back into that lion's den.
[00:36:31] Anyway, you know what's a way better use of your money than getting a mosaic of your naked daughter on the floor of your foyer? The products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:36:44] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. As the new year new you Frenzy picks up, let's turn the tables and consider what we want to keep consistent here in 2024. There are a few aspects of my life that I plan to preserve. Firstly, learning and improving, whether that's Chinese, voiceover stuff, and all fuels the podcast, it's kind of a core part of my identity. Then there's my relationships built tons of relationships over the past 10, 15 years. These people are really enriching for my life, not just my business, but my family life, my personal life. That just is a priority for me every single year. This year will be no exception. Speaking of self-improvement therapy can be a powerful tool. It's not just for navigating tough times, but also for anyone aiming to enhance their mental wellbeing. Therapy is about discovering your strengths, learning coping strategies, setting boundaries. It's a journey towards becoming your best self. So for those considering therapy, Better Help is a great option. It's entirely online. It's flexible. It fits your schedule, and you can switch therapists anytime. No extra cost.
[00:37:37] Jen Harbinger: Celebrate the progress you've already made. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan today to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:37:46] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Factor. Y'all know the drill. New year rolls around. We're full of big plans. We're going to eat healthier this year. But let's face it, life gets busy. Before you know it, you're back to old habits. Eating a whole bag of gummies. Guilty. That's where Factor comes in. A ready-to-eat meal delivery service. No more stressing over meal prep or resorting to takeout. Factor delivers chef crafted, dietician approved meals right to your doorstep. They offer a vast selection of over 35 meals each week, catering to all kinds of dietary preferences. So your keto calorie, smart, vegan, other high maintenance thing, they will cater to you your little needs. The convenience doesn't stop there. Factor's, meals are ready in a snap, two minutes, and you're enjoying restaurant quality food at home. They've also expanded their offerings to include snacks, breakfast, smoothies, juices, so it's real easy to get all kinds of amazing stuff. If you're a bachelor, you're single and you don't have to make food for other people. This is the bomb, man. Like you get good food, it's good for you, you feel good. It's not super expensive. And yeah, I just don't think you can beat this with plans ranging from four to 18 meals a week. Factor's super flexible.
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[00:39:16] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:39:19] Okay, what's next?
[00:39:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. This year I successfully 10X'd my income.
[00:39:25] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:39:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: I've worked extremely hard for years to get to this point and finally broke through with the raise in my income, I've been able to upgrade our vehicle and move us to a nicer neighborhood into a home that we can be proud of.
[00:39:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's super impressive, man. Very exciting. And think about this, even if he was making something low, like 30 grand a year, which I think is like minimum wage-ish, probably even less, and you 10X it, now you're making as much as a surgeon. That's huge. So, wow, very exciting.
[00:39:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: But there's one-ninth problem I don't know how to solve. I feel like I'm the only one who actually values the things we have.
[00:40:00] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: For example, just a few months after I bought a new van, my wife got into two accidents with it. My kids also leave food in it, and I struggle to find the time to keep up with cleaning it when I have a business to run. And I'm the only one who works. Another example, I went on a business trip and left my iPad with my wife so she could use it if she needs a break from the kids. I came home from the business trip to find that the kids broke the screen. I was infuriated. There's absolutely no reason it should have been left at my kids' level for them to drop it. I feel like I'm the only one who actually values the things we have. When I express my frustration though, I'm just being a dick. When I'm done, it's back to living. Like everything we have is garbage. My company recently offered to let me lease a vehicle on their dime, but I don't want to if my wife and kids are going to destroy it. How do I instill a sense of respect for our belongings in my family, especially when I can't be the watchdog all the time. Signed, A Hardworking Pop, Losing His Top When He Has to Play Bad Cop Because His Kids Only Drop These Nice Things They've Got.
[00:41:02] Jordan Harbinger: Good question. I mean, first simple one is they're not allowed to drive the company car or be in the company car at all, so that that'll solve that.
[00:41:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Would you say that the 4-year-old can't drive the company-leased vehicle? Great advice.
[00:41:13] Jordan Harbinger: The wife who crashes the car every five minutes can't drive the company vehicle. But yeah, no toddlers driving that car either.
[00:41:19] I totally get why you're frustrated by this, especially given that you've worked your butt off to provide your family with these nice things. And I wonder if this even makes you feel like they don't fully appreciate you since you're the one who sacrificed a lot to get to this point. I'm not sure that's actually what they think, but I would definitely understand if you felt that way. So I love that you want to work on this.
[00:41:39] And my take on this is I would approach this conversation not from a position of anger and disappointment, although, again, completely understandable, but more from a place of, "I want us all to appreciate these beautiful things we're so lucky to have, and I want us to be good stewards of our stuff." The first approach makes this about you and your anger, and the second makes it about your family and their gratitude for the stuff that you're providing. That's a totally different conversation, and I think it's a much more effective conversation in my view.
[00:42:07] So for example, maybe you tell your wife that you feel very lucky to be able to afford all these nice things. You want her to enjoy them too, but you don't always feel that she and the kids take as good care of them as they should. I would just give her some examples. Now, I wouldn't say that in an accusatory way or a condescending way, or in a, yeah, "I'm the only one who knows how to value things in the family" kind of way. I would say it in a loving, collaborative way. Like, "Hey, this is what I'm noticing. Here's how it makes me feel. This is why I believe it matters. Let's work on this."
[00:42:36] And when it comes to the kids, I would frame it with your wife as, "I just want to instill this value in them. So let's talk about how we can do that together." Then you can have a talk with your kids about how they can be more thoughtful about their stuff and why that matters. Maybe you explain to them that arguably most families, they don't have all these privileges and all this stuff. Maybe you explain that having an iPad and a nice van and new toys, these are gifts. Gifts made possible by dad's hard work, and when you have nice things, you have to take good care of them.
[00:43:08] That's how you keep them for a long time. That's how you show your appreciation for them. If that message sinks in, I think you'll see a pretty big shift, and you might have to point that out to them a few times, like the next time they're wrestling over the iPad. You might have to step in and say, "Hey, remember what we talked about? Are you taking good care of the iPad?" And bring it to life for them in the moment.
[00:43:29] Also, you and your wife might come up with some basic rules to put this idea into action. So for example, no eating in the van. That seems like a good one. No running around with the iPad, no leaving the room a mess, stuff like that. You'll get varying degrees of success with the messy room thing in my experience. But there's still a place for rules. I just wouldn't rely on the rules alone to create the behavior that you want to see when it's actually the right values and attitudes that are going to make your family respect their stuff.
[00:43:55] That's how you get them to be behave well, even when you're not around to be the watchdog. And look, they're kids. They're not going to be perfect all the time. They might drop the iPad by mistake. They might spill some Sunny Delight in the van by accident. If you let them drink that absolute garbage. I mean, that happens. So that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't appreciate their stuff or you, so that's important to keep in mind. I mean, kids drop Cheerios in the car because they're kids, not because they're like, "I don't respect my dad." Right?
[00:44:21] But it also depends on how old they are. My son doesn't really break things. He's almost five. If your kids are older than that and they're still breaking stuff all the time, maybe they're more careless or maybe something else is going on. It's not that easy to break an iPad, honestly. It's just not. And I know firsthand raising two kids really, really, really hard. I wouldn't come down too hard on your wife for not noticing that she left the iPad on the edge of the couch or whatever. If she's doing the bulk of the childcare, she's probably pretty burned out, maybe more than you realize.
[00:44:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, all very fair points. Also, this might not always mean that your family doesn't appreciate what they have. You know, for example, these car accidents your wife got into, they might not signal that she doesn't value the car. It might signal that she's not the best driver, or she's a little careless, or who knows, maybe she's distracted, which is still an issue, and one you should definitely talk about. Maybe that does imply in some way that she isn't treating the car very well, but that might not be the most important takeaway there.
[00:45:19] The most important takeaway from that would be — why are you getting into these accidents and how can we make you a safer driver so that the whole family makes it home in one piece.
[00:45:28] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. He might be viewing this a little narrowly or drawing a certain conclusion that fits with a feeling he already has,. Or, hey, new idea, just get her a bike for Christmas and hide the van keys. Worst Christmas ever for her anyway.
[00:45:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Sorry, one too many fender benders this year, Linda, enjoy your Schwinn.
[00:45:47] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Don't forget to wear your helmet on the way to Walmart. Kidding, of course. Go have those conversations. This will be a wonderful value that you pass down to your kids, and hopefully they'll pass it down to their kids as well. Good luck.
[00:45:58] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines. That makes our job a lot easier. If you're finding dead squirrels in the mailbox, your neighbors are eavesdropping on your therapy sessions through the wall, or the vice principal at your school is asking your girlfriend for her nudes, 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.
[00:46:20] Okay. Next up.
[00:46:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabriel. I'm a home health nurse, and professionally I mostly meet people like me. It now seems more valuable to me to extend my network to a wider range of fields given that I meet folks from any field you can think of. I feel that it would be valuable to be able to use some of these connections, but when it comes to clients, I struggle to know who is okay to contact when I'm off the clock. When is it okay to contact a current or past professional client outside of the work setting, or is that verboten? Do you have any guidelines that you follow? Signed, A Nurse Looking to Expand His Universe Without Putting His Career Into the Hearse.
[00:46:59] Jordan Harbinger: That's another good question. So first of all, just like the previous guy, I like that you're being so thoughtful about all this. You're right, networking with clients or patients, it's a little different from networking with other folks in your industry. And sometimes the line can be a little tricky to navigate, especially with people who want to maintain more of a boundary between their healthcare and their personal relationships.
[00:47:18] But then you're meeting so many interesting people, you're probably forming pretty close relationships with a lot of them given your role. So I hear you. I think it'd be a shame not to explore those relationships at all. So my take is this. It is totally cool to contact current or past clients outside of the work setting if you approach them respectfully, gently, in the right spirit.
[00:47:39] First off, I would follow the good vibes and focus on building relationships with clients who responded well to you, who valued your care, who felt comfortable with you, who liked you, who seemed to enjoy those conversations. I wouldn't pursue clients who are difficult, wary, cold, highly boundaried, suspicious. Those aren't folks you want to push into being friends or contacts anyways. Second, when you reach out to people, whether you drop them an email, you shoot them a text, you pick up the phone, I would communicate a lot of sensitivity and respect for them and I wouldn't put too much pressure on them.
[00:48:10] So, for example, maybe you say something like, "I realize it's a little unconventional to hear from your home health nurse off the clock, but I really enjoyed working with you and your family and I just wanted to," I don't know, fill in the blank here, "get to know you better, see how you're feeling these days. Hear more about the cool career in sales that you told me about," whatever it is. Although I would just keep it casual at first. I wouldn't jump straight to, "I'd love to learn everything I can from you or I want you to mentor me. I want you to answer 58 questions about aviation," or whatever.
[00:48:39] I would just start by asking them how they are, see if they need anything, try to be helpful to them on the level of their healthcare, even if it's just giving them some general advice or I don't know, pointing them to a good vendor or something like that. Then if they respond well, you can pivot to other topics. Also, you can always say something like, Hey, look, if you don't feel comfortable being in touch, "Please don't worry. I won't be offended in the slightest." Although now that I think about it, eh, I might even leave that part out because if you approach the right people in the right spirit, you might not want to plant that idea in their head so you'll know if they're not interested. And then you just back off.
[00:49:13] My only other thought is to make sure you have a good handle on any laws or policies that govern your interactions with clients because I don't really know what the rules are. If your company handbook says, "Don't reach out to clients personally," don't do it. Although, honestly, I don't know, maybe I wouldn't let a rule like that stop you. I would just be very thoughtful about approaching people who are cool and probably won't complain to your employer that you reached out. But if there's an actual law that governs this, for example, if, I don't know, using a patient's email address or phone number for non-work purposes is like a HIPAA violation or something like that, then you have to be more careful.
[00:49:48] It sounds like there's some fair ambiguity here and you're not doing anything malicious. Generally speaking, you can't go wrong when you approach people from a position of wanting to be generous and helpful. I wouldn't reach out to former patients like, "Hey, my cousin sells life insurance. See more. Are you interested? You know, since you got a terminal illness and all that, maybe you need a referral to my estate lawyer." But if you reach out saying, "Hey, I loved working with you and I just wanted to see how you're feeling these days and if you need anything," I'm pretty confident that's going to go over well.
[00:50:18] And then as you build a relationship, you can work up to like, "Hey, I remember you ran a travel agency. That's got to be interesting. I'd love to hear some travel stories one day." I feel like old people have cool travel stories because you didn't travel that much back in the day. And you'll meet people that like went to the Soviet Union or something. It's going to be fascinating. So just stay focused on your intention. Always make it about the other person before you make it about yourself. And good luck.
[00:50:42] You know, who won't try to rope you into a shady pyramid scheme while you're on your deathbed, Gabriel? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:52:05] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive. Most of you listening right now are probably multitasking. So you're listening to me talk, you're probably also driving cleaning, exercise, and maybe doing a little grocery shopping. But if you're not in some kind of moving vehicle, there's something else you could be doing right now. Getting an auto quote from Progressive Insurance. It's easy, and you could save money by doing it right from your phone. Drivers who save by switching to Progressive save nearly $750 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 twenty four seven, three hundred and sixty five days a year, so you're protected no matter what. Multitask right now. Quote your car insurance at progressive.com to join the over 28 million drivers who trust Progressive. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. National average, 12 month savings of $744 by new customer surveyed who saved with Progressive between June 2022 and May 2023. Potential savings will vary. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
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[00:53:21] All right, now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:53:25] Okay, what's next?
[00:53:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I feel compelled to email you about your recent Feedback Friday episode 926, where you took that question from the woman whose abusive and cheating ex-boyfriend was assaulted and run over by his new girlfriend.
[00:53:40] Okay? So for anyone who didn't hear that one, and if you didn't, honestly, what are you doing with your life? This is the rubber mallet story. So this is about the woman who kneecapped her boyfriend with a rubber mallet and then literally ran over him with her car after she found out that he was cheating on her.
[00:53:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right, twice. She ran him over twice. So that was a real Feedback Friday banger, officially a fan favorite, I think it's safe to say, and the woman writing in was asking us, "Should I reach out to my ex and give him some encouragement during a dark time?
[00:54:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. So he goes on. I know you made a lot of jokes about the situation and that really didn't bother me at all. Humans often use humor to lift the spirits when dealing with harsh issues.
[00:54:21] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Correct.
[00:54:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that is true, and that is definitely part of the reason we started cracking up on that episode, but also the whole scene she painted with the car was so absurd. I mean, it was horrifying, but it was simultaneously ridiculous and yeah, we just couldn't help it. It just kind of happened.
[00:54:36] Jordan Harbinger: Also, I just got back from Taiwan. I was severely sleep deprived. Maybe my defenses were lower or something. There were a few things going on that day, but a show fan did bring up something really interesting. It's kind of like Fargo, where the woman is running around with the bag on her head and —
[00:54:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:54:50] Jordan Harbinger: And bonking into things even though she's about to get murdered, and everyone's laughing and we're just like, oh, I feel like such a POS for laughing.
[00:54:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, somebody wrote in saying that? That's so funny.
[00:54:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I was like, wow, that's the exact —
[00:55:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Vibe that we were picturing. But also on that episode, didn't we say that it felt like a Cohen Brothers movie? That's really interesting that other people felt the same way.
[00:55:08] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, interesting. Maybe that's what triggered that. It's a hundred percent like that. So yeah, nailed it.
[00:55:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: However, it struck me how hard you came down on the guy. I think sometimes you fail to recognize that you are taking the writer's story and perspective as the truth when often they have as much incentive to lie, distort, forget, or color the story so that they appear in a positive light or as the victim.
[00:55:30] As a result, you pretty much broiled the guy as guilty AF. I realize that I don't have all the information the writer may have given you that you didn't include, but from what you shared, boy and girl get together and fall for each other, then quote, "A classic domestic abuse situation started to unfold. My Prince Charming turned out to be a violent alcoholic." At that point, you branded him as a real monster and said that the writer sounds really kind. , you were massively on her side and massively against the boyfriend. The writer goes on to say, I finally got the strength to walk away the day he hit me. To me, violence is when physical violence is committed. Sure. Verbal violence or say breaking the coffee table or throwing glasses is also violent and people shouldn't stand for that, but none of that means he deserved to be kneecapped or run over by a car. Yet, you and Gabe continued not only to joke about it, which is funny, but also paint this guy as a monster pretty much deserving what he got.
[00:56:30] Jordan Harbinger: I don't want to jump into soon, but just to say I agree with that. I don't think we ever said that he deserved it. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure we said the opposite because we even got a copy of this woman's rap sheet and mugshot and that was a ride.
[00:56:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: It sure was. But actually, you know what? I think what he means is we might've said he had it coming.
[00:56:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:56:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which I can see how that might've implied that we felt he deserved it, but actually what we meant was this guy set in motion a series of events through his behavior, through his choices that led to this tragedy.
[00:56:59] Yes. This guy sounds like a not great dude, and I'm not going to lie. Yeah, there was some Schadenfreude when an abusive cheater gets some comeuppance, but I don't think Jordan or I ever said that this guy literally deserved to be possibly paralyzed. We were just saying that he had a hand in creating the circumstances that led to that terrible night.
[00:57:17] Jordan Harbinger: That's my memory too, even if we couldn't stop giggling about it, because it was just so crazy.
[00:57:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. So he goes on.
[00:57:23] Also, we have no description of this physically violent incident between the man and the letter writer. Did he punch her in the arm, leave a shiner, knock out her teeth, or slap her in the face? Even if the guy beat her up pretty good —
[00:57:38] So strange way of putting it.
[00:57:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:57:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: What he needs is help not to be kneecapped or run over by a two-ton car, only to be paralyzed.
[00:57:46] Jordan Harbinger: Well, okay. Again, I guess I agree. I could be misremembering, but Gabe didn't we literally say that he needs to do some real introspection and get some serious help and find a way to grow from all this?
[00:57:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, we did. So we are totally on the same page there.
[00:57:58] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, I take your point that we don't know all the details of the abuse, but I'm not sure that's splitting hairs about just how hard this guy hit her or where he hit her is really the point.
[00:58:10] Jordan Harbinger: Now that's a flawed take for sure.
[00:58:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think so. The point is, according to her, and yes, we only have her story to go on, so we'll come back to that, but according to her, he hit her and that is when she left him. I think that's enough to know that this guy wasn't a healthy partner.
[00:58:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Think about this. If your friend told you this, this is the heuristic for me, if somebody calls and says, "My boyfriend hit me," do you say, "Oh my God, do you need me to come over? I'm going to kill that guy. I can't believe it," you know if this is your daughter or your friend? Or do you say, "Yeah, but okay, how? Where? How many teeth are you missing exactly?"
[00:58:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:58:43] Jordan Harbinger: You don't do that part, right? That part. No. You don't do that.
[00:58:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:58:46] Jordan Harbinger: If you're a normal person, so I don't think we should do that here either. Anyway, all we said was that this is the kind of chaos that tends to happen to chaotic people.
[00:58:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right slash chaotic people often attract or co-create this kind of chaos, but that's not the same as saying he deserved it.
[00:59:02] Jordan Harbinger: Although, man, I'm going to say in some cosmic karmic sense that life coach Carl would appreciate. Maybe he did a little bit. That's a totally different thing.
[00:59:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, I would love to get this guy, this ex-boyfriend on roller skates.
[00:59:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:59:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: And just find out where he's leaning wrong.
[00:59:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:59:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: So our friend goes on. We also don't know anything else about the woman who kneecapped him, ran over him, and possibly paralyzed him. In my honest opinion, any person who does that is not stable in the first place.
[00:59:30] Jordan Harbinger: Well, no argument there.
[00:59:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: We literally said that on the episode. Sorry, I'm getting a little worked up.
[00:59:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, the woman's clearly unstable. She's an attempted murderer and she's going to go to prison for this hopefully. And actually since the episode aired, we got some updates about her and she sounds like quite a personality. I'm going to leave it at that. But there's a lot going on with her, as you can imagine. So I'm with you there.
[00:59:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: We also don't know if the man had mended his ways and given up drinking and womanizing, but happened to hook up with a crazy woman.
[00:59:56] Well, okay. I suppose that's true. Although the woman writing in said that the new girlfriend, the one who ran him over, caught him cheating. So it sounds to me like this guy was still probably up to his old tricks.
[01:00:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it sure sounds like it. Also, I don't want to get too in the weeds here, but the woman who assaulted him, she was also charged with DUI, wasn't she?
[01:00:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: She was among many other things.
[01:00:15] Jordan Harbinger: Uh, with the kneecap, I think. So obviously that doesn't mean he was necessarily drinking, but I'm getting a picture of two people who went out, tide went on, got in a huge fight and bam, he was subjected to ye old Zamboni. So it's possible that he got sober. But come on, none of this is really screaming guy who's cleaned up his act. So I can't help but feel you are making some assumptions too. It's an interesting question, which assumptions are fair and which are unfair, but that's exactly why we wanted to read your letter, I guess.
[01:00:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. So he wraps up, this is not a person who deserved what was done to him. You seem to have really thrown this guy under the bus.
[01:00:52] Oh, I'm sorry, but that's a really funny thought.
[01:00:54] Jordan Harbinger: Did you do that on purpose? Come on.
[01:00:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't do it. I did not rewrite this letter. Oh, you mean did he do it on purpose?
[01:01:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:01:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I like to think he did, but I don't know.
[01:01:02] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't a bus. It was a Toyota Corolla. But anyways.
[01:01:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, I'm really going to try not to laugh again. This is so hard. Um, you seem to have really thrown this guy under a Chevy Malibu, tried and convicted him with very little evidence. Signed, Aghast at the Way You Miscast and Put This Guy on Blast Without Considering His Past or What the Woman Writing in Wanted to Broadcast.
[01:01:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right, well, first of all, I hope you don't keep kosher, because Gabe went ham on that sign off, and I think that's a new record. That one went on for days. But also thank you for writing in with this take. Truly, you're making some fair points, but more importantly, you're getting at a question that Gabe and I talk about a lot, which is how do we make sense of people's stories? How do we get an accurate picture of an event when we're only hearing one side of things? And how do we make sure we're empathizing with the right person in a Feedback Friday letter.
[01:01:51] So let me just start by acknowledging the obvious, which is, yes, of course, we only have one side of the story in these letters. That's just part and parcel of doing an advice show. And it would be awesome if this was a live Colin Show and we had all parties involved, like the People's Court or whatever, and we could talk to the woman who wrote in and the ex-boyfriend who got assaulted, and the real estate agent who Tanya-Harding him on the side of I-75. And we could piece the whole story together in real time, get every possible perspective. Obviously, that would take hours. That's not possible. It's also just not what the show is about.
[01:02:21] So yeah, there's a limitation to this format. And knowing that it's a limitation, we do our best to keep in mind that there's always another side to every story we try to read between the lines. We try to find some balance in our take. And correct me if I'm wrong, Gabe, but there have definitely been times where we've taken a letter and we're like, eh, this is not adding up. There's details missing.
[01:02:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, for sure.
[01:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: I could see the other party in this story having a very different version of these same events.
[01:02:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah, totally. And sometimes that is the thrust of our response to people, right? That the person writing in might want to appreciate that the other person they're talking about is probably having a very different experience of the very same situation.
[01:02:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So just because we have to take people at their word, which again, there's no way around that, that doesn't mean that we never challenge people on this show or question their version of events or push them to take responsibility for their part in something like we did in this very episode.
[01:03:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, just FYI, we declined to take a lot of letters that are clearly unreliable or one-sided. I mean, like a lot of them, and that's an imperfect science too, of course, but it's always something that I'm reading for in the inbox.
[01:03:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This was not one of those letters.
[01:03:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, I mean, not for me anyway.
[01:03:24] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, look, we can't really fact check all elements of this, right? We only have her word to go on in the public records describing the vehicular assault incident, but what she described love bombing, being abused emotionally, being abused sexually, dealing with alcoholism, being cheated on. If you can get on board with the idea that she's a generally reliable narrator, which maybe you can't, but we certainly could given her letter if you believe that, those aren't really facts with a ton of ambiguity.
[01:03:48] And yes, the way she interacted with him might, might have played a role in how he treated her. We talk about that on the show all the time, how two people often co-create these dynamics. But when we said that he sounded like a monster and she sounded kind, it wasn't just because he was the one writing in, it was because this guy has a pattern of treating himself and his partners very poorly as illustrated by these events. And because despite everything this guy did to her, the woman writing in was literally asking us if she should reach out to give him love and support after he abused her because of what happened to him.
[01:04:18] So that to me is a pretty clear sign that we're hearing from somebody with a lot of kindness and a lot of empathy, possibly to a fault. It's also dangerous and misplaced and clearly informed by her overactive sense of responsibility for this guy. And we told her that. So the fact that we identified with the woman writing in eh, doesn't necessarily mean that we took her version of events as gospel, although again, I did find her quite credible or that we didn't push her to consider what she was hoping to accomplish by reaching out to her ex.
[01:04:45] I think sometimes when people get frustrated that we're on a letter writer's side, they assume we're just letting them off the hook completely while we demonize the other party. When in reality, and please tell me if I'm crawling up my own ass here, Gabe —
[01:04:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:04:55] Jordan Harbinger: I know I'm biased, but in reality, we identify with our writers because they're human beings, and it's important for us to try to relate to anyone writing in for help, especially if they've been through something heavy duty like this.
[01:05:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, obviously I agree with you and I do share your bias, so there's that. But it's interesting sometimes when we're prepping the show, I like to ask myself, you know, what would this story sound like if we were hearing it from the other party? How would they explain the same version of events?
[01:05:22] Jordan Harbinger: Always a good exercise.
[01:05:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sometimes we talk about a story and we go, well sure this person is angry that he was passed over for a promotion by his boss, and I get it. But to be fair, maybe this boss has her reasons for not promoting this guy. And you know, wouldn't it be interesting for him to find out what those reasons are before he blames her or writes an angry email to management or rage quits? And that is often how we try to find the balance.
[01:05:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right. The fact that these stories are subjective, that's often key to finding the objectivity the person needs. So I agree.
[01:05:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: But look in the bigger picture, we identify usually with the person who writes in because you know, they're the ones writing in. And we do that even when we think that they're wrong, or even when they bear some responsibility, or even when they're being, you know, a little difficult or rigid, or petty or dysfunctional, or narrow-minded, or fill in the blank.
[01:06:10] We don't have to approve of everything the person writing in says or thinks or does. I'm not sure we would be serving them if we did, and we don't have to think that they're 100 percent heroes or 100 percent saints or 100 percent victims. We don't even have to like them. Although, to be honest, I don't think I've taken one Feedback Friday letter where I didn't on some level, like the person writing in, because honestly, I really do see parts of myself in everybody who writes in.
[01:06:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. For example, Gabe really saw a lot of himself in the woman who ran over that guy — again twice.
[01:06:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Yo, I've been angry. You know, I get it.
[01:06:43] Jordan Harbinger: Homicidal rage. It tastes for the rubber mallet. I mean, it's universal. Am I right?
[01:06:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's universal. We get it. Point is, we're on the letter writer side for the purposes of the story that they're telling us on this show. And by the way, if the ex-boyfriend in that story had written to us saying, "Hey, my girlfriend just shattered my knees with a rubber mallet and ran me over with her car twice and now I might never walk again," we would've been just as empathetic toward him.
[01:07:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a good point. Not because he's necessarily right, but because for those 15 or 20 minutes, he's the hero of the story.
[01:07:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, of course. And we also would've said, "Uh, did you do anything to make her kneecap you? Maybe, did you say something? You know, why did this happen? Is there more going on here?" And look, I don't know if he would've volunteered that he was cheating on his girlfriends or that he was drinking too much, or that he has a pattern of doing this to women. But if he did share any of that, we would've approached him with compassion and yeah, hopefully a little less laughter and pushed him to take a good hard look at the role he played in all of this.
[01:07:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I think it's an important point 'cause empathizing with somebody, that doesn't necessarily mean taking their side in every respect.
[01:07:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:07:47] Jordan Harbinger: To me it means appreciating that they have a side, why they have that side, trying to understand them well enough to give them the gift of the truth.
[01:07:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:07:53] Jordan Harbinger: Even if that's hard to hear.
[01:07:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. That's how I feel. Now where this gets complicated is when you hear a story like question one. You know the one from the guy who was dating the woman with the crazy parents.
[01:08:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right. That is tricky.
[01:08:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is because, okay, so imagine if the ex-girlfriend from that story had written to us right after that crazy night happened, right, when the police came. If she had said, "I got into a huge fight with my boyfriend, he palmed me in the nose. I started bleeding and I called the cops." I think we probably would've said, "Oh my God, I am so sorry that happened to you and yeah, you were right to call the cops and you were right to leave that relationship.
[01:08:26] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm, interesting.
[01:08:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: But she would've been lying apparently. Right? And her boyfriend would've had a totally different version of that night, and she probably would not have included all this stuff about hitting him and confessing to hitting him and going through his phone and climbing out of his moving car and having all of those episodes for months.
[01:08:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right. She might have also left out that her parents have a naked mural of her on the kitchen splash guard.
[01:08:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:08:48] Jordan Harbinger: But that all depends on whether we can trust him, which apparently we did.
[01:08:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. So this is precisely what our friend here is upset about, right? For all we know, the woman who wrote in about the rubber mallet story is as unreliable as the woman who called the cops that night in question one. So it's ultimately impossible to know whom to trust because every storyteller has some kind of agenda.
[01:09:10] Jordan Harbinger: So I hear that and I get it. I really do. But then, I just come back to A, we still use our judgment about whether a story sounds fishy, which a lot of them do, and B, we can still be helpful even when we're not getting the full story.
[01:09:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree with that, and I hope that we usually spot the grossly unreliable narrators, but the truth is that we're all unreliable narrators to some degree, which I think is what our friend is trying to say. Some of us more than others. Anyway, what this letter brings up for me is just how important it is to try to understand people, even if you ultimately end up disagreeing with them. And yeah, to take their stories seriously, even if their story is just one version of events.
[01:09:46] And I say that not just because doing that brings you closer to other people and not just because it helps you influence them, if that's what a situation calls for, but because honestly, I think it's what we all deserve, especially if you're sharing your story with a couple of podcasters who might, I don't know, accidentally lose their sh*t at the most inappropriate part of your story. Not to mention millions of strangers who have their own opinions, including our friend here who is making a couple of fair points.
[01:10:12] Jordan Harbinger: Well, obviously, I agree, Gabe. Although candidly I'm finding it a little hard to empathize with your empathy for this guy who tore us a new one for not siding with the abusive, narcissistic alcoholic, serial cheater in the story and who either didn't hear or didn't want to hear when we called out the unstable new girlfriend for Zamboning her boyfriend after a bender. But that's a separate issue from whether the letter writer was ultimately credible. But seriously, all that to say thank you for giving us a chance to think about this stuff more deeply. It's super interesting. It's something we can try to keep in mind, maybe even highlight when it comes to complicated stories like this.
[01:10:41] For me, all of this is a great reminder that out in the world, not just on this podcast, but in real life people's stories. Yeah, they're meaningful. And they matter, but they're also worth interrogating. Because my big takeaway from today is that humans are very clever creatures. We're rationalization machines and the stories that people tell, the way they tell them can have a huge impact on people's lives. And this piece was a little meta. We're not going to do this kind of thing every week, but I like that we address this sort of elephant in the room. Because I think a lot of people are wondering how we handle these questions.
[01:11:10] I hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Byron Reese if you haven't yet.
[01:11:17] The best things that have happened in my life in business have come through my network. The circle of people I know, like, and trust. I'm teaching you how to build that same thing for yourself in our Six-Minute Networking course. It's a free course. It's not gross, it's not schmoozy. You can find it on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. These drills, they take just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. A lot of people write in and say, "I didn't think this was going to apply to me. I'm a teacher. I work in the military. I work for this contractor," name your industry, "this won't work for me." And I love getting people to do just the first two exercises. And I'm asking you to do the same. Go to sixminutenetworking.com, do the first one or two exercises, and if that doesn't convince you that this is worth pursuing, after you take 10 minutes to do that, then yeah, uh, refund. Full refund on my free course. But it will convince you, I guarantee you. And it's very easy to do. Dig the well before you get thirsty, folks. Build relationships before you need them. Again sixminutenetworking.com.
[01:12:12] Our newsletter also at jordanharbinger.com/news. Lot of positive feedback on that. And uh, finally we're going to start doing giveaways here this year. Show notes and transcripts at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, discounts, ways to support the show, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Also, our AI chatbot over at jordanharbinger.com/ai. I'm at @JordaHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:12:41] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:13:11] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show on how to hardwire happiness.
[01:13:16] Rick Hanson: I focus on growing resources in the mind. That's what resilience fundamentally is, to maintain an equilibrium, to be regulated internally in the pursuit of important goals while being challenged.
[01:13:29] We remembered negative interactions with other people more than positive ones. We remembered negative gossip about celebrities more than good news. We are much more rapidly trained into helplessness from a few experiences of few futility and defeat.
[01:13:47] Negative emotional experiences have a toxic effect on the brain. They accumulate over time. But do they invade your mind? Do they invade the inner temple of the core of you? And if they do invade you, do they occupy you? Do they remain? Don't feed the beast. Quit ruminating about it. Quit obsessing about it. Quit looping on those laps around the track and help dig in that track a little deeper every single time.
[01:14:15] You can't do anything about the past, even the present is what it is. But moving into the future, you can always grow the good inside yourself. You can always become a little stronger, a little smarter, a little more skillful, a little happier, a little more loving each hour and each day. And that is within our power. No one can stop us from doing that. No one can stop us from growing from our experiences, and no one can do it for us.
[01:14:39] To me, it's one of the most honorable self-reliant, even heroic things a person can do. What you can count on is what's inside you.
[01:14:47] Jordan Harbinger: To learn how you can build more resilience, check out episode 192 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Rick Hanson.
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