When the conversation goes south…

Despite our best-laid plans and most honourable intentions, conversations about money can go south quickly!

There’s never going to be a perfect time to talk about money dreads or financial dreams, but preparing our partner or family for the chat, and finding a space where we won’t be interrupted is always helpful. It’s also helpful to think about what you want to say, but you can never know exactly how others will feel about it.

In a recent blog from moneyhelper.org.uk, they offered several insightful ideas to help us talk to people we love when we disagree about money.

Here are some of them…

If they disagree with the situation as you see it…

Ask what their reasons are and listen with an open mind. If you feel they have a point, say so. If you disagree with them, suggest how you can move forward.

If they blame you…

Listen with an open mind, and figure out what’s making it frustrating without getting defensive and blaming them back. Are their comments justifiable? If so, how will you address these comments? Are their remarks simply shifting blame? If so, ask them what they feel you can both do to resolve the problems.

If they are impatient or attempt to change the topic…

Explain the aim of the conversation and let them know their choices. Listen to what they’re saying to address later. Express your understanding that it’s a difficult conversation while highlighting that it will be easier to have it now rather than later.

If they all talk a little too much…

Make sure you leave plenty of time for the chat, yet keep them on the topic by referring to what they’ve said and asking relevant questions. 

These are only a handful of possible responses; if you can think of others, write them down and challenge yourself to keep an open mind. Often, we only respond negatively when allowing our emotions to drive us. The sooner we can identify and acknowledge those emotions, we can allow them space and then move forward with rational intention.

Also – if the conversation is completely derailed, don’t give up hope. Try again and keep the channels of communication open.

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