Choosing Freedom

Wisdom from 1907

“Indebtedness could discipline workers, keeping them in routinized jobs in factories and offices, graying but in harnesses.”

As quoted from The New Basis of Civilization by Simon Nelson Patten.

This was written when people used to only buy things they could afford at the time of purchase. Then this light bulb went off for people in charge of mass-production of goods…let’s give the consumers “acceptance” to “buy” over time, and then we’ll earn even more money! It makes me ill to read this quote and feel the truth of it.

Look around you now. Is there any “stuff” that has you in a harness today?

Money-Relating and Healthy Teamwork

I know that dealing with the money topic can be contentious. That makes sense to me…it’s important for our sense of security, as well as our literal security. It really gets most everyone’s internal attention.

Seems that many of us know naturally how to turn away from potential discomfort. Not many of us choose to make our loved ones or professional associates feel uncomfortable, or threatened, or devalued. If that is happening, whether we mean it or not, we could probably use some different tools to get a better result moving forward.

But what’s the cost of indefinitely turning away from the money conversation with significant others (be they spouse, co-workers, best friends)? For example, do you pay more than your share, and deal with accompanying seething resentment? Do you pay less than your share, and have Jiminy Cricket chattering at your mind about how it’s not fair and what if it changes?

Here are some tips for stepping in to more clarity, as well as deeper relatedness, with people with whom you share money decisions. You may notice over the next few days just how many people in your life make money decisions with you.

  • Are you willing to give the other person the benefit of the doubt that they are operating with good intentions? Example. I come home from the grocery store. My money partner makes a remark; “How much WAS all of that?”  If I react and read in to that that they are criticizing me in order to be cruel or belittling, it’s going to get ugly between us. But, if I can take a moment before I respond, and remind myself there is a good intention behind that comment, I get a wider range of responses I can choose from.
  • Are you willing to take full responsibility for your role in co-creating the money history with your partner(s)?  That saying that it takes two to tango is often very true. I can either focus on how my partner(s) have failed or disappointed me, OR I can focus on how my actions or lack of actions have set it up for me to feel that way. Example. I’ve been working without claiming overtime. My boss piles on another project. Instead of thinking how much I hate my boss as I again stay late without extra compensation, how about I take a few minutes to have an honest conversation before continuing the pattern? Aren’t I the one who has been agreeing to do it (even if the agreement has been silent capitulation)?
  • Are you willing to listen to the other person with an open mind and a clear heart? Maybe they’re repeating themselves as if you haven’t heard them say it before. Are you able to summon some patience instead of just cutting them off? Who knows what another person’s soul might be trying to work out, especially when it comes to a deep area like money relationship. Instead of zoning out or swallowing your frustration, what is something you can do to become more present with them and work through it together?  Example – a “nerd” might tell a “free spirit” for the 50th time…”We have GOT to save more money”. The free spirit could roll their eyes, blow them off, or even just leave the room. A more present response could include asking them to be more specific, or sharing how I feel hearing them say that. Who knows, your compassionate honesty might snap them out of a trance.
  • Are you willing to cultivate a healthy support network outside of just talking to (or fighting with) your money partner(s)? Are there neutral people who you can run a scenario by before making a major decision? Are there people who remember your growth goals, and notice when you are asleep on the growth job? I like to give these peoples’ contacts a special label in my phone. It reminds me at tough moments that I’d do well to share what’s going on and get some constructive feedback.

Good luck with manning up or womanning up around this stuff. It’s not for lightweights, and that makes it that much more potentially powerful for growth and truth.

Thanks for reading. This was written for you by Beth Crittenden, financial organizer and coach. for more~

I kind of liked leaving you with the cute monkey picture last time. I wanted to find a cute animal this time that was relevant to the topic.