What comes next when your boss is also your ex? If you happen to grumble, will your career crumble? We’ll try to find answers to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- What comes next when your boss is your ex? If you happen to grumble, will your career crumble?
- Your beloved brother married the woman you once considered your best friend. You’ve since discovered she’s a manipulative she-hag with questionable politics and now you want nothing to do with either of them. How do you deal with them when they reach out to reconnect?
- Your lack of a current relationship makes your roommate’s loudly vocal confirmation of the opposite awkward. How should you diplomatically handle this?
- You worry that your physically fit nephew who wants to join the Navy SEALs might not be mentally fit enough to handle the violence of war. He wants to enlist because it would look good on his resume, but you doubt his commitment to killing strangers for his country. What should you do?
- When you’re a small-potatoes but sincere podcast host, how do you deal with disrespectful guests who feel like they’re doing you a favor for giving you the time of day?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com/row
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- Crawlspace True Crime & Mysteries: Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Miss our conversation with Somali pirate hostage Michael Scott Moore? Catch up with episode 115: Michael Scott Moore | What It’s Really like to Be a Pirate Hostage here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Crystal Healing | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Nita Farahany | Thinking Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology | Jordan Harbinger
- Jan Broberg | The True Crime Story of a Young Girl Abducted | Jordan Harbinger
- Undue Influence: Cults and Predators with Steven Hassan | Asperger/Autism Network
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Struggling to Find Your Purpose? Do This Instead. | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Keep Going When Your Purpose Makes You Miserable | Jordan Harbinger
- Forget Finding Your Purpose — Do This Instead | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- What to Do When Your Purpose Starts to Suck | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Simon Sinek | What’s Your “Why” and Where Do You Find It?
- Mike Rowe | Dirty Jobs and Peripatetic Moments | Jordan Harbinger
- Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Find Your Dream Job | Jordan Harbinger
- Robert Greene | The Emotions Behind Success, Mastery, and Power | Jordan Harbinger
- My Manipulative Sister: How Can We Resist Her? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Get Who Gets You: Bathroom | eharmony
812: Your Ex is Your Boss: Is Your Career Lost? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:07] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the heartfelt hearty to my logical laurel, Gabriel Mizrahi. You know, it's just not important if everybody gets these jokes. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave, and our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:44] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you, answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers.
[00:00:56] Before we dive in, Gabe, we got a really interesting letter from a listener this week about one of our favorite topics here on the show. You want to read that for us?
[00:01:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure thing. So he writes—
[00:01:04] Hey guys, I'm reaching out because I'm a survivor of not just one, but three cults, a multi-level marketing organization, a church, and a school. I'm slow to learn. I think my autism has made me particularly vulnerable. I appreciate your perspective and your consistent work to highlight the dangers and warning signs of cults and narcissists. It's great that you give people questions to ask to determine if they might be in a cult. Very often people in cults do have moments where they wonder — is this a cult? Then they talk themselves out of it, or they share their concerns with a member of the cult who then reeducates them. They also usually have multiple friends, family members, and even strangers tell them, "Hey, that's a cult." But cults are very adept at creating distrust of family and friends who, quote-unquote, "think negatively," or are, quote-unquote, "jealous of your growth" and all that stuff. My advice is this, if someone is wondering if their organization might be unhealthy, make an appointment to see a therapist and ask them what they think. If even the thought of doing this is terrifying, it's likely a cult. If they feel that they wouldn't be able to tell anyone in their organization that they're seeing a therapist without facing consequences, it's a cult. Any legitimate organization would not be threatened by an individual's choice to see a therapist. Every cult will be. If a person realizes they are in a cult, then a therapist is exactly what they need. And if they're not in a cult, then no harm. They got to check up and they can stop the questioning. Thank you for what you do. Keep doing it.
[00:02:37] Jordan Harbinger: So I really appreciated this email. This is such a valuable experience to hear firsthand. We've talked a lot about cults on the show, but I don't think we've talked very much about how neurodivergence can play a big role in falling prey to undo influence. It's just really sad to think that certain organizations and people can prey on somebody with a disorder like autism or condition like autism. Someone who might find it hard to, I don't know, read social cues or decipher people's real intentions sometimes, or develop the relationships they need to keep them grounded. Those qualities really do make you more vulnerable to stuff like this, and it is a great reminder.
[00:03:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. I actually think Dr. Steven Hassan, our resident cult expert, I think he talked about ASD and cult psychology in the past as well, so we can link to a talk he gave where he gets into all of that in the show notes. Really fascinating.
[00:03:27] Jordan Harbinger: I also love the therapy idea. I mean, it never hurts to have a third-party perspective on a group you're part of. That's a given. But I love using this as a litmus test of whether a group is coercive.
[00:03:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: Because legit organizations, they're generally not afraid of their members, seeking out different sources, keeping their own council, but shady organizations, they're usually the ones that get territorial and paranoid and vindictive when their members ask too many questions and seek guidance outside of the group.
[00:03:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, absolutely. We've actually heard that exact idea in our interviews with Dr. Hassan, of course, with Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames about their time at Nexium m and I think even with Amanda Montell, right?
[00:04:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Kind of a hallmark of cults. They do not like it when you consider contrarian points of view or think for yourself in any real way. So we just wanted to share that with you guys. Great way to reassess or assess in the first place whether an organization really has your best interests at heart. And a big thank you to the listener who wrote in. I'm so glad you got out of those sketchy groups. I'm thrilled to hear you sought out your own support. It takes a lot of courage and resourcefulness. So well done, man.
[00:04:31] All right. We got some fun ones, got some doozies. Can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, a year and a half ago, I woke up one morning to several text messages from a woman asking if there was something going on between me and her boyfriend. To make a very long story short, my partner of almost a decade had been lying and cheating on me for the past year while frequently telling me how much he loved me, buying me gifts, asking me to promise to never leave him, and making comments that implied he might harm himself. After this bombshell, I found an amazing therapist who diagnosed me with moderate PTSD and treated me with cognitive therapy, which helped enormously with the insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks I had been living with for more than a decade. The problem is my ex is a partner at the company I've been working at for more than 13 years. Many people at our company have known me for a long time and they respect me, but my ex-boyfriend is technically my boss now and is better-liked by people. I have a reputation at work for being kind of a bitch, knowledgeable and invaluable, but kind of a bitch. Everyone aware of the situation has been impressed by my professionalism under the circumstances, but I question my own motives for staying as long as I have with everything that's happened. I'm not sure how I can trust my ex to handle salary or bonus negotiations, not to sabotage my career, or to make responsible decisions for the company. On top of that, I've often hated this job and my career has been feeling stagnant for some time. On my best days, I do my job on autopilot. On my worst days, I feel trapped. Should I leave my job? And how do I find one that I'm passionate about or at least one that'll give me an opportunity to grow? Signed, Putting Off What's Next When I'm Still Getting Out From Under My Ex.
[00:06:21] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, boy. Well, I'm sorry you went through all this. That sounds like quite a chaotic relationship.
[00:06:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:26] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sorry you found out about cheating that way, especially after 10 years. Ugh, that's longer than I've known my wife or almost or something. I mean, that's crazy. That must have been a real punch to the gut, really an understatement.
[00:06:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:06:40] Jordan Harbinger: But honestly, based on what you've shared, I'm just really glad you found out and that you got out and even happier that you found an amazing therapist who really helped you grow from all this. I think that's fantastic.
[00:06:50] Ahh, so, just to be very direct here. Yeah, it's time to leave your job in my opinion, or at least begin exploring your options. And I actually say that not so much because of your cheating, love bombing, unstable a-h*le of an ex is your boss, although that's certainly a dicey sitch. I say that because you've hated this job for a long time. You're feeling stagnant. You're doing your job on autopilot on your best days, and on your worst days, you feel like you're freaking imprisoned at this place. Those are very—
[00:07:17] Soundbite: Run, Forrest, run. Run, Forrest. [Forrest Gump]
[00:07:21] Jordan Harbinger: But the fact that you might have to sit down with the dude who manipulated you and then negotiate your future promotions to say nothing of this guy's ability to lead the company. Yeah, that's the dysfunctional cherry on top of this batsh*t crazy relationship nightmare Sunday. So yes, at a bare minimum, I would start looking around. Talk to your friends, talk to your peers, connect with a few recruiters, see what jobs are out there. Isn't it supposed to be like the best job market in a generation or something? I mean, now is the time. And if you're miserable, channel that dissatisfaction into your job search and find a job that really speaks to you. That will give you a ton of relief, a little bit of excitement, or a lot of excitement just knowing you're not stuck working for the dude who begged you never to leave him while carrying on with some other woman.
[00:08:06] Man, the more I think about this, the more I realize just how insane this work situation has to be. Because it's not like they just broke up and they're on okay terms. This guy is a bastard, right, like premeditated bastard.
[00:08:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, this is bad. I'm just picturing their super awkward conversations in the break room.
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: "Oh, hey Tom." "Yeah." "Yeah. Just finishing that spreadsheet and also processing the trauma of the last 18 months."
[00:08:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. "You want a Keurig with a little cream and a dash of betrayal."
[00:08:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. "I'll have a love bomb latte. Thanks." "Oh, don't put yourself in the hospital and then blame me. Bye."
[00:08:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Bye.
[00:08:40] Jordan Harbinger: As for finding a job, you're passionate about that challenges. Ugh, that's a big question. I'm going to point you to some past episodes where we talked about that exact topic. I give those a listen. They'll be awesome resources for you right now. We'll link to all of those in the show notes.
[00:08:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: She definitely needs to move on.
[00:08:55] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, it's clear. Life is just too short to languish in a job you hate, especially if you have the power to leave. I'm just curious about one other thing she shared, and I know it's not part of her main question, but I do think it might be connected. It was this thing about having a reputation at work for being kind of a bitch, right? "Knowledgeable and valuable, but kind of a bitch."
[00:09:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There was something there. I didn't quite pull that thread.
[00:09:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm so curious to know what that's about. I mean, look, maybe she's like that because she's working under this guy who ruined her life 18 months ago and it's just very hard to be upbeat at work, which I can definitely understand.
[00:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I do wonder if there's more going on there. I don't know.
[00:09:31] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like, okay, is she always kind of a bitch at work? Is this just how she is to some degree? Has this been a lifelong thing since high school? What's going on here?
[00:09:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: And if she is, why? I mean, she's still knowledgeable, she's still indispensable, so her ex isn't getting in the way of those qualities. She's just kind of a tough cookie at work. So I wonder if part of this isn't just about her boyfriend.
[00:09:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I agree. Because she also said he's better-liked than she is.
[00:09:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:09:56] Jordan Harbinger: So she trades on her experience and her value, maybe even compensates for her bitch vibe, self-described, by being really great at her job, which makes sense. But I'm guessing you're bringing this up because it could play into the job search, right?
[00:10:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could play into the job search, it could follow her into her next role. But more importantly, this quality probably determines a lot of her experience in life. I mean, if you're kind of a bitch by your own admission and you have a reputation for that. I think that's also a really important signal to pay attention to.
[00:10:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like what's really making you unhappy these days? How are you responding to this situation, this objectively difficult situation?
[00:10:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:10:34] Jordan Harbinger: In a way that creates more agitation, more impatience.
[00:10:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. And does being amazing at your job kind of let you off the hook a little bit for working on this aspect of your personality?
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: Well, okay. That describes a lot of high performers, doesn't it? She wouldn't be the first person to justify or compensate for a flaw by being a rockstar at work. It's a very common strategy. I wish I could count the ways that Wall Street assh*les, who threw books at people's heads were also like the guy in the office 16 hours a day, even Sunday, and it's like, well, okay, you have to do that because you're a loose cannon, crazy person. But yeah, I'm with you. She needs to get out of this office, and I'd hate for this aspect of her personality to hold her back from building good relationships and making moves. Also, it's kind of a miserable way to live. Who wants to be the office b*tch? Right? Or the office jack wad. Like, it's not healthy.
[00:11:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:11:22] Jordan Harbinger: So I hope you get to do that, my friend. 13 years, that's a long time to stay at one place, even a great place, but with this history in the mix. Yeah, I think it's time and I'm sure you'll end up somewhere great because you obviously have a lot to offer, maybe a little bit too much at times. Good luck and I hope your next boss is super gross and married and boring so you don't end up in this situation again.
[00:11:44] You know it's a great use of the bonus your cheating ex of a boss will give you or a severance package? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:11:55] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. I think it's kind of funny that my dad's friend keeps him on the phone for hours, especially my dad. Why are you trying to tell this to my dad? Complaining about his marital problems, of all the people, that you go to, why my dad? And to be frank — God, I can't even finish this sentence. His friend needs a therapist. That's what I'm trying to say, folks. While friends can provide emotional support, some friends anyway, and be a valuable source of comfort, therapists are trained professionals who have the expertise to provide the support to help you get out of a rut. I'm laughing because I still just can't believe this guy tells my dad about these things. So don't be that guy. If you're having a tough time, try Better Help. You can do chat, phone, video sessions. Therapy, it's vulnerable work. Better Help understands that you won't mesh with everyone. You can easily switch therapists whenever you want, until you find one that you click with. Check out Better Help's 94,000 reviews in the iPhone app if you're still skeptical. And if you're on the fence, take this as a sign to go and try it out. And if you're the guy talking to my dad, you don't need a sign. You need a metaphorical shovel to the back of your head to get you to go and try some therapy. So take this as that shovel.
[00:13:02] Jen Harbinger: If you want to live a more empowered life, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:13:13] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. Trying a new workout is like learning a new skill. It can be overwhelming and the uncertainty can be a major barrier to actually getting started. Peloton's approach to convenience is very helpful for people who are looking to take on a new fitness skill or routine. Everything is designed to be as simple and streamlined as possible from the easy-to-use touchscreen interface to the wide range of class options and personalized recommendations, you can access a variety of live and on-demand classes, including cycling, running, strength. Now, there's an incredible rower, which I really enjoy, all from the comfort of your own home. Rowing is great as a full-body workout, which means you'll be engaging multiple muscle groups at once, including your legs, core, arms, and back. This will help you burn more calories, of course. It will help you build more strength especially, and improve your overall fitness. Correct rowing form isn't intuitive, at least it certainly wasn't for me. And doing it correctly is harder than it sounds, especially once you start getting tired because, of course, your form always breaks down when you get tired. Form Assist shows you a figure of yourself as you row, and when you screw up a portion of the body, your body turns red. That's a good way to avoid getting super, super injured or tweaking something and not being able to work out, which stops a lot of people who are diving in either for the first time or getting back into it after a long. So try Peloton Row risk-free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at onepeloton.com/home-trial.
[00:14:37] Thank you so much for listening to and supporting the show. All the deals, discount codes, everything we talk about here on the show, all ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website or just use the deals page to go ahead and search. Thanks in advance for supporting those who support us.
[00:14:54] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:14:57] Okay, next up.
[00:14:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I'm a 34-year-old gal and I have an older brother named Scott. We were inseparable growing up. He's incredibly kind, talented, and smart. One of the best people you could ever meet. Scott married a girl named Emily, whom we've known since childhood. She and I became really close, and for the last decade, I considered her my best friend. Then, a few years ago, I learned some things. Emily comes across as a very loving person but she can never keep friends and always had some drama going on. I would call what she does love bombing. She also manipulates people, turns them against one another, and is a compulsive liar. My brother is a highly intelligent person, but I don't know if he's caught onto Emily's shenanigan. I also found out some details about their politics or maybe just Emily's and I was disturbed. I blocked them on my phone and gave no explanation. I mean, what am I going to do? Tell my brother that I think his wife is a psychopath and that you all are racist as assh*les and I don't even know who you are anymore. And what is he supposed to do with that Information? In the last month after a period of not talking, Scott stopped by my work a few times. It's been really nice to see him, but he seems sad and tired and he is lost some weight. We've kept the conversations surfacey so far. I want to have a relationship with him again, but I know that Emily will want to be involved. I'm a local musician and my brother mentioned that they might come to one of my shows soon. It would be an absurd place to reconnect. I get shaky in confrontational situations, and I'll have to play guitar and sing. Should I tell him that I don't want to see Emily at all, and especially not in that context? Do I tell him why I don't want a relationship with her anymore? And does Emily deserve an explanation? Signed, Thaw and Declaw With My Sister-in-law or Hem and Haw as I Withdraw From These Flaws.
[00:16:50] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, this is a tough one. You know what's funny? Scott came in and he'd lost some weight, and I'm thinking like, wow. What's his secret? "Well, my secret is my wife is a racist."
[00:16:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: An absolute monster.
[00:17:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, she is a terrible person. I haven't been eating at all, let alone sleeping.
[00:17:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Who needs Weight Watchers when you can just marry somebody who has confederate flag wallpaper in the kitchen?
[00:17:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's all you need.
[00:17:14] Jordan Harbinger: Well, let's start by acknowledging that Emily is obviously a tricky personality and being close with her is clearly difficult for you. If what you're saying is true that she manipulates people, love bombs, and lies. Another love bomber, Gabe. Interesting theme we got going today.
[00:17:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe when Scott and Emily break up, she can get together with the boss from question one.
[00:17:34] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: They seem like a match made in heaven.
[00:17:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, there's a dating app idea. Welcome to eDiscord. We match you on 32 individual dimensions of dysfunction. Media attachment style. No problem. We'll pair you with the most avoidant, emotionally unavailable people in your area.
[00:17:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice. That's actually a pretty solid idea.
[00:17:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I feel like that would work better than normal dating app.
[00:17:59] Jordan Harbinger: This idea actually, the secret is this is every dating app. They just don't tell you.
[00:18:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that's why it sounded so familiar.
[00:18:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yes, I believe they call this literally every dating app.
[00:18:09] Anyway, if all that is true, then yeah, you're probably right to keep your distance. What I'm not so sure about is whether Emily or even Scott really need to know how you feel about her. I mean, there's a version of this where you just keep your distance, you're polite, but you don't get too close and the family more or less functions. Because even, if you did tell Emily how you feel, A, you'd be sort of taking her to task for her personality in general as opposed to something concrete that she's done to you. B, based on what you've shared, I'm not sure Emily would really hear your concerns and go, "Wow. Yeah, I am kind of a monster. I need to work on myself."
[00:18:45] So Gabe, I don't mean to be overly simplistic here, but does this really even require a huge conversation?
[00:18:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a fair question and honestly, I'd probably agree with you if she hadn't blocked Scott and Emily with no explanation.
[00:18:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That was an interesting move, right? Pretty extreme. Not sure if I would've done that.
[00:19:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I guess I can understand being so turned off by what she learned, that she had to put some distance between them, but this felt, I don't know, I got the sense that this maybe was, it felt a little bit more like punishing them or something. And blocking them without any explanation, that is quite a statement, and it's a statement that requires no statement. It's like I'm telling you how I feel, but I don't actually want to talk about it.
[00:19:23] Jordan Harbinger: Huh? Yeah. Okay. So maybe some avoidance there.
[00:19:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe as opposed to, I'm going to pull back from Emily A. Little bit. I'm going to be careful about what I say, and we just won't be as close as we used to be. Or if she really wants to go there with Emily to sit down with her or with Scott and really hash this stuff out.
[00:19:40] Jordan Harbinger: But to her point, what's she supposed to say? "Hey bro, your wife is a maniac. You guys are racist assh*les. I don't even recognize you anymore." I mean, she raises is a good question. What is Scott even supposed to do with that information?
[00:19:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, he can do a few things. He can dig his heels in and he can say, "Well, sorry, sis. This is just how Emily and I feel. Sorry if it offends you, you snowflake," or whatever. But at least, then he understands why his sister is keeping her distance. And she knows for sure that they're aware of how they're coming across and they're just not going to change. Or he can take in what she says and see if he and his wife need to reconsider some of their opinions or how they express them. But neither of those options is possible if our friend here just blocks them with no explanation.
[00:20:23] Jordan Harbinger: So your point is they could have communicated about this even if it's uncomfortable.
[00:20:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, they could have talked. I'm not saying it would necessarily resolve the way she hopes, but at least there's the possibility of a relationship there. And look, maybe they get to a place where she goes, "Wow, Scott, like I'm really sad that this is how you guys feel. And I got to tell you, these opinions do not sit well with me at all. But I love you. You're my brother. I think very highly of you. Emily, she's tougher. I'm concerned about a lot of her behavior. I don't know if I can be super close with her anymore, but I just want you to know that if I hang back a little, that's why. And if you ever want to talk about any of this, we can do that.
[00:21:01] Jordan Harbinger: Right, that would be a more productive way to approach this, although I do feel for her because that is a scary conversation.
[00:21:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's extremely scary, but a lot of necessary and healthy conversations are scary. So, should you tell your brother that you don't want to see Emily anymore? Mmm, I think you first need to decide if that's absolutely true. Is there some scenario where you still see her sometimes, but you guys just don't have much of a friendship? Because that's okay and it might be the right move if it means that you can stay in Scott's life and you guys can still get together for Thanksgiving or whatever, and it won't be chaos. It really comes down to what's more important to you, your relationship with your brother, or letting him and his wife know how much you dislike their views. But if you decide that you absolutely cannot see Emily, then yes, I do think you owe your brother some kind of explanation for your distance. He obviously senses that distance. He wants to reconnect, so I think you got to fill him in on why you've been struggling a little bit lately. Now, telling Emily how you feel about her, you know the full story that could be appropriate, but I think that comes later. Talk to your brother first.
[00:22:06] Jordan Harbinger: Honestly, Gabe, I think Scott probably knows on some level that something is up because he doesn't sound like he's doing too hot these days. He's sad, he's tired, he's lost weight. Obviously, something is going on with this guy.
[00:22:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, either, he senses that there's something up with his sister or things at home are really bad and he's not being as open, he's just not really revealing how bad they are.
[00:22:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: But either way, that would be a great way to approach this conversation. I would actually ask him like, "Hey bro, you seem a little sad. You look tired. Are you okay? What's going on?" And just put the Emily stuff on the back burner for a minute and talk to him, sibling to sibling. And if he gets to a point where he says something like, "Honestly, Emily is going off the rails. She's saying and doing all this crazy-ish. I don't know what to do anymore," you know, anything like that, then you have more license to say, "Well, I've noticed a lot of that behavior too, and that's actually why I've been keeping my distance." And then, you guys can dig into that together and maybe you help Scott come to terms with Emily shenanigans, help him see why you've been so disturbed by their opinions, and hopefully figure out how to respond to all of this.
[00:23:08] Jordan Harbinger: Agreed. I think that would be the ideal. But regarding your upcoming show, I do think it's fair to ask them not to come. All you have to say is, "Listen, Scott, I'd love to catch up with you, but if you guys come, I think I might be too nervous to perform well. Let's catch up separately." That's absolutely okay, and then you can figure out the Emily of it all from there.
[00:23:26] So I hope that gives you some new angles here. This is a tricky situation and like all tricky situations, there isn't a simple answer. I think it's more about getting clear on your priorities and what the best outcome is here. In all likelihood, you probably have very little control over Emily's personality, but you do have some control over your relationship with your brother. So I would focus on that first. Hey, good luck with these conversations and with the show. I'm sure you're going to kill it. We're sending you and Scott good thoughts and yeah, even Emily, because, in my experience, you don't act this way unless you are in pain yourself, and I hope she wakes up to that soon as well.
[00:24:02] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines that keeps it easy for us or makes it easier for us. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you want a new perspective on life, love, work. What to do if your neighbor is a murderous felon? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, possibly clutching a rifle in the porch, hit us up at Friday, jordanharbinger.com. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:24:27] All right, next up.
[00:24:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hello, Jordan and Gabe. Six months ago, my roommate and I moved in together a couple of months ago, his new girlfriend started coming over and staying the night with him a few times per week. She's very nice and I don't mind her coming over. The problem is that most nights before they go to bed, they have sex while I'm scrolling on my phone or trying to fall asleep.
[00:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man.
[00:24:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: It makes me uncomfortable. We have thin walls and the wall vents connect the two rooms. They turn on their TV to cover the noises, but it does nothing. Needless to say, I hear everything. Now, I know this is more of a me problem than a them problem. It's not necessarily that I'm envious, even though it probably sounds that way. I just feel insecure as I don't have a relationship. It's really awkward for me to have to lie there and listen to everything. This is his house too. So I don't feel like I have a right to tell him he can't do what he wants in his own room. But then I want him to be more considerate and I don't know how to approach this conversation without making it weird or coming across the wrong way. I just recently started therapy for other things, so I'm sure these feelings will be discussed there too. But how would you handle this? Signed, Avoiding a Brawl With the People Down the Hall Who Have the Gall to Torment Me Through the Wall.
[00:25:50] Jordan Harbinger: Noise-canceling headphones, my guy. Done. Gabe, what's the next letter out of the mailbag?
[00:25:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think we crushed that one, honestly.
[00:25:58] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, sometimes it really is just that easy problem meet technology, bam.
[00:26:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Bam. Yep. Sounds like a Bose problem to me.
[00:26:04] Jordan Harbinger: Just cancel that noise, bro. End of story. All right, but no, seriously, let's unpack this a little bit. So obviously, you're not the only roommate in history to deal with this situation. Hearing your roommate get it in, that's kind of par for the course, right? It's a plot line on every sitcom for a reason. Yeah, it's awkward. It's a little uncomfortable. I get why this is weird, which is why I do think the answer might just be, invest in a pair of headphones. They're great to have anyway because wherever you go, humans do be loud AF.
[00:26:35] Soundbite: 60 percent of the time. It works every time. That doesn't make sense. [Anchorman]
[00:26:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, what a great clip. Yep, can't argue with that logic. I think you're right.
[00:26:46] Jordan Harbinger: It's just math and to your point, you don't really have a right to tell him what to do in his own room unless they're just being like, egregiously and unnecessarily loud, right? Like they're actually getting off on that part.
[00:26:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Then, It's like, "Bro, can you keep it down a notch? It's getting a little weird." It's a different thing.
[00:27:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right. I'm imagining just plaster falling through the ceiling and you just know they're enjoying it a little too much. This is just like, "Hey, I can kind of hear you through the wall. I know you're not trying to make me hear it. It's just awkward."
[00:27:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: What I'm interested in is this other thing he said that he feels insecure because he is not in a relationship.
[00:27:18] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Obviously, that's the deeper issue here.
[00:27:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: His roommate's love life is clearly hitting him in a vulnerable place.
[00:27:24] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh. Just like his roommate is doing to his girlfriend.
[00:27:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dad joke, check.
[00:27:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we're good. I hit the quota.
[00:27:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, good. So he's lying in bed listening to this nature documentary through the air vent, and he feels, well, actually, I'm not quite sure how he feels, Jordan. I guess, maybe he feels a little lonely, kind of sad, like maybe there's something wrong with him, that he doesn't have a lady in his life.
[00:27:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He said he is not envious. But I do wonder if maybe there's a little of that in the mix here, which is perfectly normal, by the way. It's okay for him to hear them and be like, "Man, I wish I had a little bit of that in my life," I think.
[00:28:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think it's probably all of the above. So my take is sit with those feelings, explore them, see what they're trying to tell you. If you feel insecure, why does your roommate's situation make you insecure? If you do feel envious, what is your envy trying to tell you about what you really want? When you figure that out, then you'll have a better sense of what to do about all of this. Because look, if you're like, "You know, I am a little envious, I do want a relationship like the one they have," then maybe the answer is to make dating more of a priority or to find a certain kind of partner, or to just go out and have fun more. That's one way to use envy in a more productive way.
[00:28:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Get on eDiscord. Find yourself a screamer.
[00:28:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, that's where you find them too on eDiscord.
[00:28:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course.
[00:28:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then when you bring that lady home, they'll have to listen to you do it like they do on the Discovery Channel. And you won't feel bad about it because you'll have built up all these like sex noise credits over the last six months and now it's your turn to redeem them.
[00:28:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, for sure. Cha-ching, he's definitely offset his sex noise footprint enough to have some fun in his own room. And you know, you don't need a partner for that. You can also do it yourself and just moan really loudly. if you want to share the awkwardness, that will do it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the frustration and awkwardness goes away too. Because then, it's like, "Yeah, we're all adults living in this house. We're all getting it on. Good for us." And I mean that if you bring someone home, I think if you do the solo thing, I think it'll add to the awkwardness for sure.
[00:29:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah. That's different. That's going to be weird. That's not going to help.
[00:29:27] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:29:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: But in the short term, just on the level of how do I fall asleep when my roommate is railing his girlfriend at two? I don't know how else to put it. It's just like that's what's happening.
[00:29:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:29:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. Noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, white noise machine, whatever you got to throw at this problem to get some sleep, my dude.
[00:29:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Use our Amazon affiliate code while you're at it.
[00:29:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Thank you. We definitely deserve 37 cents for giving you this advice, so I appreciate it.
[00:29:49] Jordan Harbinger: Before taxes, at least you could do really.
[00:29:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Jordan, I just got to say, as a person who's extremely sensitive to noise, like I can't even enjoy a movie in the movie theater. If somebody's eating popcorn like four seats away from me. I really feel for this guy.
[00:30:03] Jordan Harbinger: Well, popcorn and movies, and that's a shame because I got bad news for you, a lot of people eating popcorn at the movies.
[00:30:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, I know.
[00:30:10] Jordan Harbinger: I feel bad for this guy too. I mean, you're talking to a guy, me, who slept on an air mattress in a lesbian couple's bedroom for two months, if you recall. So trust me, I get it. I get that too.
[00:30:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, firsthand experience. But sometimes noises are just noises and they're just annoying.
[00:30:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Right. And then a stimulus like this, it can hook into a belief or a feeling that you have, and that's when it becomes painful. And that's why this guy has to figure out why his roommates are triggering him so much.
[00:30:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Slash just get laid himself.
[00:30:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, slash get laid himself. Hog some of the sex airwaves. Join the club. Problem solved. All right, so get on eDiscord and/or Amazon and take action here. You're welcome. Good luck.
[00:30:50] You know what'll make your roommates envious? Some of the fine products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:30:59] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. We're getting a ton of rain in California, finally. I mean, we need the water. We need like a trillion gallons or something like that, literally. But on the downside, we are mostly cooped up indoors, and I don't want to leave the house. There's flooding, there's traffic accidents because all of a sudden they don't know how to drive in the rain. I think that's a California thing. I grew up in Michigan. You can freaking drive in the rain over there. I do like to stay active, though. That's one of many reasons why I'm really digging Peloton. The convenience factor cannot be beat. I don't have to go anywhere to stay active and healthy. Peloton makes top-notch machines. We've never had any issues mechanically with any of this stuff. They get plenty of use. The classes are taught by world-class instructors. Peloton is known for the bike. Yes, we have one of those. Of course, you've all heard of those, but they also make a really, really good rowing machine. Rowing is great for a full-body workout and for improving your cardiovascular endurance. I love the flexibility, not of my body, that's lacking, but if a call cancels, I can hop on the rower and I can get a quick workout in. I can get the heart pumping in the morning before the kids wake up, depending on what ridiculous hour that might be. Working out at home is amazing. There's nobody judging me. There's no waiting for a machine. There's no equipment with other people's sweat on it or drool on it, or their body oils. There's guys who use body oils at the gym. I can't even believe they allow that. That's such a gross visual. What is unique about the Row is it gives you real-time form feedback. The seat and handle contain sensors and during setup, you go through a roughly five-minute calibration process. Just the one time, not every time. It then enables a feature called Form Assist, which is really freaking cool, and it's a little collapsible window on the left-hand side of the screen. You can monitor your technique. It's basically a little avatar of you and the way that you are moving. For me at least, correct rowing form was not intuitive at all, and doing it correctly is a little tricky. It's not hard, hard, but it's tricky if you're a little gomer like me, especially when you start getting tired. Form Assist shows you that figure of yourself as you row, and when you do something wrong or slightly wrong, a portion of your body will turn red. That's a really good way to know where you are messing up and avoid getting super injured, repetitive, strained stuff, tweak and stuff. And then of course, you can't work out at all when that happens. And that stops a lot of people who are diving in for the first time, getting back into it after a long time. And who wants to get some new thing and then you can't use it for a month because you got frigging tendonitis or whatever? So this will make sure that does not happen. At the end of the workout, you get a readout of how well you did and a breakdown of your most common mistakes. So you can be competitive with yourself and see how you can improve over time. I love the scenic rides as well. I think those are really, really cool. You can transport yourself into the Thames River in London where you can see famous landmarks such as the Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye. I know it sounds kind of corny using a rowing machine to take a tour, but it's really a lot of fun and really interesting, and probably you're going to get less dirty London water in your mouth doing this. Or you can row through the iconic Sydney Harbour where you can see the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can also row through beautiful Miami Beach where you can see the vibrant culture in stunning beaches. I think it's a really fun idea, and it's laid back. It's relaxing. If that doesn't make you want to work out, nothing will. So try the Peloton Row risk-free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at onepeloton.com/home-trial.
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[00:34:31] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:34:34] Okay, next up.
[00:34:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my 17-year-old nephew is determined to join the Marines or Navy SEALs, but I think this is a potentially damaging path for him. His dad, my brother said my nephew considers himself to be a tough guy working out every day and being physically fit and strong. But his mom says he doesn't even like to watch violent movies. He has to cover his eyes. His parents are worried about his decision, but they say it's ultimately up to him. Part of the reason I'm worried is that my best friend's nephew joined the Marines and was deployed to Afghanistan where he had to kill people. Now, he takes medical marijuana every day just to function. He can't even watch fireworks because they sound like gunfire.
[00:35:16] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:35:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: When I asked my nephew why he wants to join the military, he said, one, after the military, he plans on going to college and studying law, so joining could help offset his tuition expenses. Two, he feels like he needs more time before starting college and doesn't think he has the life skills to be on his own yet. Joining the military would provide structure for him. Three, he feels it's his patriotic duty as an American citizen, which I do think is admirable. And four, he's interested in having a career in politics and military service might help him with that goal. But I'm worried about my nephew's ability to make sound decisions at his age. My husband served in the Navy for six years, so he has firsthand experience of life in the military. We've talked to my nephew a few times trying to encourage him to pursue other options, but he seems pretty set on enlisting. When I told him that there's no going back once he signed up, he didn't seem phased at all. Am I worrying too much? Should I just butt out and chill out? Signed, Keep Straining, Campaigning, and Being Grating, or Let Him Go Off to Basic Training.
[00:36:21] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah, this is pretty intense. I can definitely appreciate why you're so worried about your nephew joining the military. It's no joke. Your nephew does sound like a sensitive young man, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is an interesting quality for a guy who wants to possibly go to war, and obviously, military service can leave some real marks on people, as you noted. But it can also be a very powerful experience. It can teach you discipline. It can give you amazing opportunities to grow, to lead. It can mature you quickly, which maybe he needs. It can set you up nicely in your career. So it is a mixed bag in everyone's experience is different.
[00:36:56] I do think a lot of this comes down to your nephew's personality, how he handles all this, how he takes care of himself. I mean, we've heard from veterans on the show who come back from war with PTSD. But they advocated for themselves. They went to therapy, and they went on to have very high functioning, fulfilling lives. So just to put you at ease a bit, not every veteran turns out like your best friend's nephew. In fact, one of the most important variables in how people heal from trauma is how connected and supported they are by their loved ones, which is why your relationship with him is so important.
[00:37:28] All that said it sounds to me like you and your husband have done pretty much everything in your power to guide your nephew here, and he's still dead set on enlisting, so I just don't know what else you can do here. And given that this is your nephew, he's not your son, there's really only so much you can do and there's only so much you should do. It's his life, it's their family. So from where I'm sitting, I think your letter is actually less about how to convince your nephew to ditch this dream, and more about how to come to terms with a person you love doing something that you disapprove of.
[00:37:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:37:58] Jordan Harbinger: And that's a really tough spot to be in. It means allowing your nephew to assert his autonomy to make his own choices, even if he's young. It means recognizing the limit of your influence in his life. It means allowing him to potentially make a mistake or go through some really difficult experiences and trusting that that's okay, and that he might actually be equipped to handle them. And it means living with your worry and your sadness and not trying to ward them off by making him do what you want. Because look, you're coming from a really good place, but from another angle you might actually be wanting to spare yourselves the pain of letting him do this.
[00:38:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:34] Jordan Harbinger: And it can be really hard to separate those two things sometimes.
[00:38:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man, that is a really good point. They're looking at their nephew like, "Why would you do this to yourself?" But what they're also kind of saying is, "Why would you make us and your parents have to watch you do this to yourself?"
[00:38:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's exactly right. And that's where they need to take a step back and recognize that their nephew, as much as they love him, he doesn't exist to make them feel safe, right?
[00:38:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, yeah.
[00:38:58] Jordan Harbinger: He gets to build his own life, even if it makes them nervous or whatever.
[00:39:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also just want to say that the other hard part of letting him go off and enlist might be admitting that while their intentions are very good, they might even be wrong about all of this.
[00:39:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You mean like this might in fact be the right decision for him.
[00:39:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: It might be. Our friend and her husband, they obviously don't think it's a good idea and they think they're right, which is fair, but the military could turn out to be a good path for their nephew. I'm not saying it won't come at a cost or that it's going to be a walk in the park. I'm sure it's actually going to be pretty intense and who knows how it's going to go. But all of those reasons he gave them for joining, they might turn out to be good ones and he might be able to handle this to your point. In fact, that detail about him being really sensitive to violence in movies, they view that as a sign that he has not cut out for the military, but who knows, maybe that's a part of himself that he needs to develop and this is how he's going to get to do that.
[00:39:50] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I certainly hope so, because I'm no Navy SEAL myself, but I'm pretty sure what you don't want on the battlefield is a guy who's shooting a rifle with one hand while he covers his eyes with the other.
[00:40:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I feel like that might be covered in boot camp, I'm just guessing.
[00:40:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I just wanted to throw that in the mix here. Maybe watching their nephew go his own way also means risking the possibility that they're wrong or that they're at least not 100 percent right. And sometimes that's the scariest part of a situation like this.
[00:40:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Because if he doesn't enlist, then they get to hang onto that sense of, "Well, we were right and we know best," and that doesn't get challenged by watching him have a different experience from theirs. Yeah. It's interesting.
[00:40:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, yes.
[00:40:28] Jordan Harbinger: But look, I know you want what's best for your nephew, and I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong. For all we know, you're absolutely right, but your story is really about watching this kid make a huge decision, whether you are right or wrong. How you feel about it at this point, it's pretty much irrelevant, almost irrelevant in any case. So the question becomes how do you live with his choice. How do you process your anxiety? How do you stay close with your nephew and give him the support he needs to make it through the next few years, your feelings aside? Those are the questions I'd be asking, and I know they'll lead you and him to the best possible outcome.
[00:41:03] Sending you a big hug. Wishing your nephew all the best and the strength to go into this situation, well, with eyes wide open, Gabriel, literally.
[00:41:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Indeed.
[00:41:14] Jordan Harbinger: All right, what's next?
[00:41:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I host a small podcast and recently I did an episode swap with a former professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur to talk about the importance of authenticity. I was a guest on his show first, which admittedly didn't go well because I was nervous, ill prepared, and a little intimidated. After the interview, I sent him an email thanking him and I included a link to my calendar so he could schedule a time to be a guest on my show. I heard nothing back from him for months. Three months later, he still hadn't published the episode, so I reached out to see if the episode would air and if he'd like to be on my show, and he was like, "Oh yeah, it's coming out this week. And yes, I'll schedule a time right now." Then, on the day of the interview, he ghosted me. I emailed him again to see if he'd like to reschedule. He did, and this time he actually showed up five minutes late. Not only that, but he was recording from his cell phone that he was just holding in his hand. When he asked me how long the interview would go, I told him I usually went the entire hour. And he said, "Ah, that's not going to work for me. I usually only do 30 minutes. You'll see how I do things." He then gave me canned rehearsed responses and I rushed through my questions because I wanted to get the interview over with as soon as possible. I take being a podcast host very seriously, and I spend a lot of time researching my guests so I can ask them original questions, so I feel disrespected and dismissed by this guest. I get it. I'm small potatoes compared to bigger podcasts like his. But if he wasn't going to extend some level of courtesy to me, why even agree to be on my show? I'm a big boy. I can handle rejection. How do you handle rude and disrespectful guests? Do I even bother providing feedback to this guy about how he made me feel so that he doesn't treat future hosts the same way? And when it comes to my show, how much bending over backwards do I really need to do for a guest? Signed, Surviving the War Zone Behind the Microphone.
[00:43:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Gabe, can we hurry this up? I like to keep Feedback Friday to a tight 50 minutes. You'll see how I do things.
[00:43:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. I see how it is, that was very authentic of you.
[00:43:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just want to say that.
[00:43:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm. Uh, but seriously, this guy sounds like a freaking tool. I'm sorry you crossed paths with him. Honestly, I can't tell you how many people I interviewed like this in my early days of podcasting. I've learned this exact lesson multiple times. It's all part of the process of becoming a good host, and there's no way to learn it except by being burned by a few pricks a few times. I also love that this guy's whole thing is authenticity, and here he is ghosting you, flip flopping, not extending the courtesy of telling you the truth.
[00:43:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:49] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it's just the classic wanker who only has soundbites and no actual personality.
[00:43:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, so true, although, again, to be fair, he is authentically acting like a douchebag.
[00:43:59] Jordan Harbinger: True, I guess.
[00:43:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's that.
[00:44:00] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, he's not hiding the ball in his crappy personality. I hate people like this. I feel like they're just the worst.
[00:44:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Although I also appreciate that our friend here is owning the fact that he maybe kind of fumbled the interview with this guy.
[00:44:12] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like he said, he was nervous. He was ill prepared. He was a little intimidated.
[00:44:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, which by the way, he didn't need to be. This guy might be a former baseball player or whatever with a big following among red-pilled dweebs on Twitch. But I'm pretty sure that this is not somebody to be intimidated by. This is somebody to stay away from who's obviously insecure in the first place and possibly intimidated by others. I mean, who acts like that?
[00:44:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree. But my point is just that the interview wasn't the greatest. And maybe that made this guy think twice about returning the favor, even though that is what he agreed to, which is absolutely uncool and yeah, it's rude to go somebody you've promised an interview but this situation might have been created in part by the not so great episode that they did, and I just admire this guy for being able to recognize that and not just point the finger at this guy and be like, "Oh, he's a dick, and then call it a day."
[00:45:00] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's a good point. You can tell that our friend here, he has the humility and self-awareness that this other jack wad just doesn't.
[00:45:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:45:07] Jordan Harbinger: But that doesn't change the fact that this guy promised him an interview and instead of saying, "Look, I know this sounds kind of harsh, but I can't run this interview. I can't return the favor. I got to be careful about what I put out. I wish you the best. Let's just call it." Instead, he just ghosts to the guy and then weirdly pops up again.
[00:45:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:23] Jordan Harbinger: And then continues to be a diva. And it's like, dude, either be upfront and bail or show up and make the best of it. This in-between area is where you make everybody feel like crap.
[00:45:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, okay. So what do you do with people like this? Do you just not air the interview?
[00:45:37] Jordan Harbinger: It depends on how bad the interview is. I can deal with somebody who's a little rude. What I can't deal with is somebody who's boring or is not valuable to the audience. That's my top metric. If an interview doesn't meet a certain standard of quality, I'm just not going to run it. And yes, I do do that from time to time, although it's pretty rare now just because I reach out to guests who only have good reputations, generally. I do a ton of homework before I reach out. I don't even bother approaching people like this guy because like I said, I've interviewed people like this in the past and I know how it goes. I know that what they're going to give me isn't super unique or valuable, and I know that the personalities in the genre tend to be a little difficult, let's say, and usually just pretty generic.
[00:46:19] In fact, I got introduced to this former major league baseball player. And I got on the phone with him to talk about what he wanted to talk about and he wanted to just like hawk his skincare line.
[00:46:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:30] Jordan Harbinger: And he had some accident where he'd been hit by a car and he's like, "And I made it through that." And I was like, this is just not a compelling story. And now you want to hawk your skincare line, which is completely unrelated to—
[00:46:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:46:40] Jordan Harbinger: —anything else in your story. And so the guy who introduced me was like, "Why didn't you have this guy on? You said you were interested. You're making me look bad." And I go, "Here's how our phone call went," and I laid all this out and he's like, "Oh yeah, that guy left all of those details out of it," because this guy was also a jackass on the phone, you know, to boot.
[00:46:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, there.
[00:46:56] Jordan Harbinger: And then, the guy who introduced us was like, "Yeah, sorry about that. He definitely left all of those details out of this version of the story he told me." I mean, these guys are a dime a dozen, these entitled bricks who think media works for them. They don't get how this landscape works.
[00:47:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. So when it comes to somebody like that, it's probably pretty easy to make that call. But you know, it's interesting sometimes with a guest who's a little prickly, it can sometimes become a little game with them, right? Or just like that quality becomes part of the interview. You might even want to play along a little bit and just see where it goes. Something good might come of it.
[00:47:25] Jordan Harbinger: It's a good point. So, quick story, another one. Years ago, I interviewed a bestselling author. Not going to say his name, doesn't matter. He was a little bit of a dick, but he was interesting and what he was saying was valuable and he got a little testy and a little sort of self-important with me, and I remember thinking, okay. There's a little power struggle going on here. This guy feels like he's got to prove something. I'm just not going to take the bait.
[00:47:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:49] Jordan Harbinger: And my strategy was just to let the rude moments roll off my back, keep asking good questions. And sure enough, a good interview comes out of this and then, the audience gets to go, "Wow, that was a really useful conversation. But dang, that guy's a dick." And you know what? That's fine. But in another context, if I were dealing with a prickly guest, I might give it back to them a little bit. They tease me, I tease them back, I push back a little, hold their feet to the fire, and they give it right back, and we're playing a little ping pong or whatever.
[00:48:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:17] Jordan Harbinger: And it's not the most fun kind of interview, but it can be stimulating and it can be good entertainment and educational for the audience. And again, if the result is a good conversation, then I'm going to air it. My feelings don't really matter.
[00:48:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. But that's different from a guest who's just straight-up rude with zero substance, right?
[00:48:34] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yeah. If a guest straight-up ghosts me, or they're insulting, or they act super entitled, and I get the sense they don't even want to be there, then it's game over because that's not going to be a good product for the listener.
[00:48:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:44] Jordan Harbinger: And then again, that's the only thing that counts. Then I'll say, "Listen, I don't mean to be a dick here, but are you okay? Are you up for this interview today? Because we can reschedule if you're just not feeling it." And I've had people in that situation and sometimes they're like, "Okay, I'm really sorry. My dog just died. I'm in a weird mood. Can we do this in a month? And I might be like, "Hey, of course, no problem. Thanks for telling me." But if they're like, "I don't know what you're talking about, man, I'm a busy guy. Can we just plow on, wrap this up." Then, I'm going to call it because they don't care about being there, they're not going to deliver a good product. They couldn't be less concerned with the audience. I won't be a dick about it, but yeah, I might say, "Okay, listen, I don't want to waste your time. I can feel this probably isn't the right fit for either of us, so let's just call it a day." And weirdly, a lot of people respect that, or they're just completely speechless and they don't know how to handle it. But like I said, this really doesn't happen anymore because I do a lot of diligence and I don't even bother with the kinds of personalities who pull a stunt like that. I think the last time this happened to me was probably half a decade ago, and I remember telling the guy that I didn't want to focus on his gold sales business or something.
[00:49:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:47] Jordan Harbinger: And he's like, "Well, if your audience isn't sophisticated enough to understand my financial sensibilities," and I was like, "Oh, I don't think insulting the audience is really a good idea or good strategy here. And I don't really think it's that sophisticated. I just think your attitude really shines through and that's not a good thing in your case." And he was so pissed.
[00:50:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:50:04] Jordan Harbinger: But I was like, "Bye," you know? And it was like just as a complete prick. And you can screen these guys out pretty easily by doing a pre-interview if they're willing to do that. You know in the first few minutes. You really do.
[00:50:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fascinating. Okay. But so now that it's over, this guy shouldn't write this guy an email telling him what a tool he was, right?
[00:50:22] Jordan Harbinger: No, no, no, no. I would just leave it because the truth is this guy, especially this guy, is not going to take that feedback well or any feedback.
[00:50:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:50:30] Jordan Harbinger: He's going to look at that email and be like, "Whatever, small-time podcaster, you don't understand how important I am. Now, you're giving me notes. Screw this guy." Like why even bother? If he even opens your email, he's not going to give a crap.
[00:50:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: And maybe wanting to write him this note, there might be an aspect to that of, "I genuinely want to help you be better with future hosts—"
[00:50:49] Jordan Harbinger: Eh.
[00:50:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: —but it might also be a way to sort of, even the scales a little bit. You know, like, ah, you kind of like you wounded me a little bit—
[00:50:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:50:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I want to give it to you back. I'm going to make myself feel better by writing this letter.
[00:50:59] Jordan Harbinger: If I'm in those shoes, that's exactly why I'm writing that email. I'm like, I want you to feel like crap because you made me feel bad and I totally get that right because he feels wrong.
[00:51:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:51:07] Jordan Harbinger: He wasted his time. He reneged on a promise. People like that, yeah, I want to punch them in the face for sure.
[00:51:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: But if that's the case, I would say you don't need to do that to feel better, man. All you need to do is think of this as a learning opportunity, which by the way, you are already doing beautifully. That's the reward. Like, that's your recompense, right?
[00:51:23] Jordan Harbinger: A hundred percent. That's exactly right. Every crappy interview I've ever done has been a lesson for me in some way. I still wince when I think about certain interviews, mistakes I made, time I wasted, how I set myself up to be disappointed or stung by a guest, and it sucks, but it's all part of the process.
[00:51:37] So to answer your question, how much bending over backwards do you need to do for a guest? Well, it really depends. If Beyonce reschedules on you four times because she's on tour and then she wants you to fly across the country to interview her in person. And she's not being rude about it, she's just being hell of famous. That's a legitimate form of bending over backwards. That comes with the territory. That's worth it. But if some washed-up MMA fighter who hosts a show about radical honesty or whatever, ghosts you three times and shows up late and literally phones it in from his motorcycle, that's a different thing. That's the kind of bending over backwards you just do not need to do.
[00:52:13] My experience is that really good guests, they're generally the easiest people to work with. It might take some doing to book them, but they don't create a ton of unnecessary problems. They're respectful. They answer their emails on time, or their assistant does. They're not aggro. They're not taking their personal nonsense out on somebody who's a media contact. Whereas the bad guests, they are the ones who make you bend over backwards because it makes them feel important which by the way, that tells you a lot about the qualities that make you successful in life.
[00:52:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:52:43] Jordan Harbinger: You know, when I deal with an A-lister, they're almost always super professional. They're hard to get ahold of, but they're super professional. Their people are professional. They're on time. Everything's in place. When you deal with somebody who is like, maybe they seem kind of famous, but they don't have their sh*t together at all, those are the worst people to work with because they have that sense of entitlement while being unable to follow the simple instructions about how to plug in the USB microphone and show up on time.
[00:53:07] So my advice is just to avoid a-h*les like this as much as possible. Once you do this a few times, you're going to start to notice a pattern and you'll know which red flags to pay attention to. Also, I think this annoying guest has a lot to teach, all of us, me included, about how to be a good peer, a good collaborator. I think there's a temptation in life to perform at a certain mediocre level because someone else doesn't, quote-unquote, "deserve your best" or because they haven't earned it. I think that's BS. It's very easy to justify being arrogant and entitled when you're dealing with somebody less experienced than you, when really you could change the whole dynamic and give someone a huge gift by bringing your best, even when the conditions are not ideal. And that's true if you host a podcast or you're dating somebody who's going through a tough time, or you're working for the ex-boyfriend from question one, or you're dealing with that sister-in-law from question two. Acting the way the guest acted is a great way to reinforce a certain template and continue to create tension when it just doesn't need to be there.
[00:54:07] So thanks for sharing this. Well done on looking at the whole debacle through a helpful lens. Love the mindset there, and good luck with the show.
[00:54:13] Oh, by the way, my friend, Dr. Jolene Brighten who's been on the show before episode 259, by the way. She's got a new book out called Is This Normal? It's the newest book from her. She's a naturopathic endocrinologist. Really, really sharp, fun gal. I've been friends with her for a while. A comprehensive and candid guide to women's health, Is this normal? Tells you everything your sex ed teacher should have said but didn't. And I've read a bunch of it and even though I don't have a women's body as far as I know, and I thought it was really interesting. TMI is not really a term in her world. She answers a lot of questions about the menstrual cycle, postpartum health, libido, acne, vaginal discharges. I know I probably should have warned you I was going to say that. She also discusses how sex hormones, I might not have needed to lean into that quite so much. She also discusses how sex hormones can affect cognitive function and behavior, sharing some pretty fascinating facts about how progesterone is neuroprotective and may even buffer the extent of injury following head trauma, depending on when it happens in the menstrual cycle. Who knew getting a head injury? The severity depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Who the heck knew? Lot of charts, checklist, diagrams. So if you have a woman's body or you're just interested in women's bodies, I'm going to leave that one right there. This is a great book. Is This Normal? on sale, April 4th from Dr. Jolene Brighten. That's all I got to say about that.
[00:55:27] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much.
[00:55:31] Want to know how I managed to book all these great people? It's always about my network and my relationships. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course. The course is free on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you're thirsty. Build those relationships before you need them. Ignore these skills at your own peril. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:55:51] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discounts, ways to support this show all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Try the AI chatbot at jordanharbinger.com/ai. We're going to get a promo code there. Find something from a Feedback Friday from three years ago. That's the place to do it. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and you can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:56:20] This 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. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:56:50] Here's what you can check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:56:54] You're in Somalia trying to track down pirate gangs, and I'd love to kind of what this felt like.
[00:57:00] Michael Scott Moore: We went with the big security team and we paid the security team and a lot of money, and it was this one portion of a clan in Central Somalia that was supposed to protect us.
[00:57:12] Jordan Harbinger: So how did they get you?
[00:57:13] Michael Scott Moore: My partner, Ashwin, flew off to Mogadishu. I drove him to the airport and then, we saw him off. He got on the plane safely. And then, on the way back from the airport, back into town towards our hotel, there was actually a truck waiting for us. It was a truck with a cannon welded in the back. These are very common trucks. They're called technicals. At first, we thought it was there to watch over us or protect us or something, but actually it stopped our car and 12 gunmen from the flatbed came over to my side of the car and they actually fired in the air and then opened the door and tore me out of the car. They were waiting for me and they were probably waiting or hoping for both of us. I think they were a little bit disappointed that there was only one journalist.
[00:57:52] They beat me. They broke my glasses and I was wearing glasses at the time. And they had another car waiting and they bundled me into it and off we drove into the bush. For about three hours, something like that, hard to keep track of time, but at some point we stopped. They blindfolded me and they took me a few steps over to a mattress. So there was a mattress waiting for me in the middle of nowhere. There were other people there, other guards and other hostages, and I sat down. And for the next two years and eight months, I was a hostage.
[00:58:21] Jordan Harbinger: For more on life and captivity under the thumb of Somali pirates and how he made it out, check out episode 115 with Michael Scott Moore here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:58:33] Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:58:37] This episode is also sponsored by Crawlspace podcast. Are you fascinated/obsessed with true crime shows? If you're curious about that mysterious, harrowing, and bizarre, check out Crawlspace, that word just freaks me out. Honestly, if I hit a cottage with a crawlspace, no, thank you. This is where crime and culture meet hosts, Tim, Lance and Jen cover a wide range of topics from unexplainable crimes, conspiracies, and fringe culture with weekly interviews with expert guests. Whether you're interested in criminology or crypto zoology, there's an episode for every true crime addict. Check out the episode with former federal agent and author John Madinger about his experiences working undercover, and the episode with Jodi Plauche about her experience of survival after her father famously shot and killed Jeff Doucet on television from what he did to Jody. Wild. You can't go wrong with adding Crawlspace to your rotation. There's never a dull episode. That copy sure sounds familiar. Just search for Crawlspace True Crime & Mysteries on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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