Money can be a sticky topic to talk about – it holds a lot of value and a sense of control for many people. However, it is also one of the most important topics to talk about, to prevent negative reinforcements and future disagreements in every kind of relationship in your life.
Eliminating Negative Reinforcement
Do you have a particular reputation for your relationship with money? Perhaps you are known as “the spender” or someone who doesn’t spend enough. Everyone knows you as this sort of person. Everyone sees you in this negative light. And sometimes, for that reason, it is hard to get out of it.
When the people around you are reinforcing your behaviour, it is difficult to change; every judging look or negative word drags you back down to the start. Speaking up and having honest conversations is the only way to open up about your journey of growth and give others a chance to understand where you’re coming from.
You might try saying:
“In the past, I have spent a lot, but now I am working on changing that. I would appreciate if you stopped making these remarks because they don’t make me feel good and it reinforces how I felt before.”
Speaking up for how you really feel is scary, mostly because we care a lot about what the other person has to say. We have no idea how the other person might respond – “what if they don’t accept my words?”
Unfortunately, you can’t change someone else and if they don’t respect your wishes, it can make things a little tricky. If this happens, try having a conversation with yourself. When they make those remarks again, reframe your thoughts positively and tell yourself that what they are saying is no longer relevant to you anymore – that is their problem, not yours. You could even try writing a journal of your feelings if that would be helpful. Read my blog here for more ideas on how to change your relationship with money.
Money in Relationships
Money is known as one of the biggest causes of arguments in a relationship, but it is perhaps not the money itself that is the problem but the beliefs and behaviours you have towards it.
It is important to talk about money early on in a relationship because it can cause a variety of issues, especially if there is an imbalance in contribution. Let your partner know how you want to spend your money and let them share with you their own beliefs. Money can be a source of independence and when that is lost, difficulties can arise, so perhaps begin with separate bank accounts if you want to remain in control of your spending habits. The Money Coach Emma Maslin shares some good tips in this blog – Understand your Money Personality.
Money is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about owning your relationship with money and using it in a way that mirrors who you want to be because every person has their own unique spending habits. Most importantly, be honest with those around you and in return, encourage them to be honest with you too.
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