Conversations about money can be challenging, but there are ways to deal with you and your partner’s negative reactions.
When it comes to money discussions, an immediate negative attitude may make it impossible for you and your partner to make much progress. You can dissipate negativity and tension before it has a chance to slow you down too much by talking about how you and your partner react.
People commonly react adversely in four ways: withdrawing, blaming, escalating, and dismissing.
When confronted with a challenging conversation, some people withdraw because they believe it is better to avoid the conversation altogether. They may act in this manner because they feel threatened or humiliated.
This might make a spouse who wants to talk about a problem feel as though their partner doesn’t care or is furious with them and is punishing them by giving them the silent treatment. When a situation becomes uncomfortable, withdrawing may be an unconscious reaction.
Even if the scenario isn’t overtly stressful, some people will respond in this way on a regular basis, even if their spouse doesn’t feel the tension is extremely high.
Some people require time to assimilate information internally and may require some time alone to think in order to do so. This is not the same as retreating from a conversation to avoid it. This need is neither good nor bad. The key is to recognize your partner’s requirements and include it into the solution.
Try having an initial conversation and then scheduling a follow-up conversation once your spouse has had some time to think things through.
Every partnership has financial concerns. Financial issues necessitate strong verbal muscles; long-term avoidance or withdrawal will never alleviate the situation, and often make tackling it more difficult in the future.
If you and your partner have been together for a long time, you may both have preconceived notions about how the other acts, which can evolve into an expectation. Old disagreements can loom large, and long-held grudges can be a genuine impediment to active listening.
Instead of concentrating on solutions, many couples become caught up in making excuses for their financial issues. Even if someone is plainly to blame for the mess or poor financial decisions, pointing out those errors may cause more harm than help.
It’s critical to consider the larger picture and figure out how to come up with a shared strategy for getting things back on track. Conversations that are solution-focused rather than problem-focused are far more productive.
Brainstorming is an excellent method for concentrating on solutions rather than problems. Consider something for which you’ve been meaning to find a more practical answer. List a few viable remedies after writing down the problem and imagining what a working situation would look like. Narrow your options down to one, two, or three of the best options, discuss the benefits and drawbacks, then jointly choose one to pursue.
Importantly, discussing ideas with your partner will not only result in the greatest potential solution, but it will also bring you and your partner closer together. When you work together to identify and implement solutions, you’ll feel closer to each other and have a deeper feeling of shared ownership.
When confronted with a difficult topic, some people will react by raising the emotional intensity of the conversation. This could be because they are terrified and feel threatened. Argumentative behavior is their technique of dealing with an unpleasant scenario.
Feeling attacked, blamed, guilty, or trapped might lead to escalation. When someone escalates, it is essential that they are aware of the impact their actions have on their partner and the discussion. When a conversation deviates from the topic and becomes personal, it is called escalation.
If your spouse escalates conversations, there are a few things you can do to try to get the conversation back on track, such as taking a break to let things settle down, encouraging them to stay on subject, or conveying the impact their behavior is having on you. If you’re prone to escalation, attempt to recognize that this is exactly what you’re doing. Take some time to figure out why you’re feeling attacked, guilty, or insecure, and then work toward a solution.
When your partner dismisses your feelings or point of view on a particular topic, this is known as dismissing. Everyone, especially in their most intimate relationships, needs to have their views and feelings acknowledged and valued. Your partner isn’t treating you with the respect you deserve if they dismiss your opinions or feelings.
Some of your or your partner’s viewpoints may turn out to be incorrect, but it doesn’t negate the validity of your feelings at the moment. Your feelings may change in the future, but for the time being, you think and feel the way you do, and you want your partner to meet you where you are, understand, and support you.
It’s not always easy to reach an agreement on a topic, especially when you don’t share the same emotions or ideas. Dismissing stymies communication and prevents partners from reaching a common understanding.
When a person believes that they are not being heard or respected, they will immediately shut down. Everyone has their own unique beliefs, priorities, tastes, and viewpoints. If your partner dismisses your point of view, explain why you feel that way and how it makes you feel when they do so.
If you’re worried that you’re dismissing some of your partner’s viewpoints, remember that just because someone’s point of view differs from yours doesn’t mean they’re incorrect or unworthy of your time.
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