Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 17, 2008
I read a post over at Thicken My Wallet about money being the last taboo. I sort of agree with the post, but what I really got thinking about after reading that was all those things in our lives we leave unsaid.
You see I don’t say everything I should some days. In some cases I just don’t think the comment would be accepted by the person I’m talking to and in other cases I don’t want to bother others with want I would consider a minor issue. Right now for example, I’m feeling a little off. Just a touch of melancholy mixed with feeling like I’m not myself. The mix isn’t all that problematic, but if I sat down and discussed it with someone I would likely feel better. Yet I haven’t.
In fact until I sat down to write this post I couldn’t even describe the feeling. And that is why I think we leave things unsaid. We lack the words and we don’t expect others to have the patience to listen while you work out what you really need to say. So it goes unsaid.
Money in particular has a thick fog of emotions that swirl around it. We don’t discuss it because we don’t even take the time to understand our feelings around it. After all money is supposed to be about numbers and logic. Yet at the same time so much of isn’t about what we know, but rather what we feel.
So when someone asks “Should you invest or pay off your mortgage?” we come out with calculators and examples and we ignore the one thing that matters the most. What is your gut telling you or how do you feel about each option? Chances are you’ve already made your choice based on that feeling in your subconscious, but you are just waiting for your conscious mind to catch up with you.
In the end it’s no wonder things go unsaid between people about money. We can’t understand even our own decisions some days because the mix of the logic saying one thing and our emotion saying another. So out of that confusion it becomes difficult to discuss with others.
Therefore to really discuss things with others you have to understand yourself. For example, I’m slowly coming to the realization that leverage investing likely isn’t for me. I just can’t seem to get comfortable with paying interest on money to invest. I understand the logic of it, but I’m having an emotional issue with it. So for now I’m going to continue my experiment to see if that changes, but in the end I might just pay off the loan and be done with it.
So what do you leave unsaid?
This post is now part of the 136th Carnival of Personal Finance.