“Listen, we have to talk…” At one point in your life, you have heard these words, and you know that it’s never the start of anything pleasant. Maybe they were being said to you, maybe you heard them coming out of your own mouth. Maybe, you are even thinking about saying these words to someone in the near future, but don’t know how to go about it. When I had to have a big financial talk with Her, it wasn’t that pretty.
Do you have to have a difficult conversation in the near future, but don’t know where to start? If you’re having trouble finding the right words or right way to frame a difficult money discussion, leave a comment below explaining your situation for Shelia Heen (bio), a communication expert and author of Difficult Conversations, who helped come up with the quiz and tips on Have The Talk America. We’ll leave comments open until
Monday Wednesday, November 14, 11:59PM. She’ll select a few questions to answer, which we will then post on by Have the Talk Day, November 20, a day in which you can prepare for to have your big talk.
Here are some examples of situations you may have trouble with…
- Do you want to bring up money talks with your partner?
- Are your parents getting a little old, and you want to have a big financial talk with them about getting their estate in order?
- Do you have a friend whose spending is out of control and are getting worried about him/her?
Here are some good reasons to have a talk, according to the “Tough Talks” survey…
- More than 40 percent of Gen Yers, Gen Xers and Boomers have admitted screening phone calls or emails, and one in five have actually cut off all contact with a family member for fear of engaging in a difficult conversation.
- “Not having enough money” and “household budgeting” are two topics deemed most likely to cause conflict among all respondents, and for Gen Xers and Yers, “use of credit” ranked third.
- Sixty percent of all Gen Xers and Yers worry they won’t have enough money to retire.
- Fifty percent of all Gen Xers and Yers have lost sleep over the anticipation of a difficult conversation; more seriously, approximately 20 percent of Gen Xers and Yers attribute the end of a romantic relationship or estrangement from a family member to the avoidance of a difficult conversation.
Have the Talk has a lot of tips on how to approach difficult conversations, from talking to your partner about money, talking to your kids about bumpin’ uglies (aka SEX, per the urban dictionary), and how to talk to your parents about an estate plan. You should also take their quiz to find out your communication style.
To help soften up the initial invite to talk, you can send a humorous video invite, featuring Frank Caliendo, to that person. Admittedly, I was skeptical of them, but they are really funny.
So go ahead, and leave a comment for Sheila or visit Have the Talk.
(As full disclosure, the Have the Talk website is a campaign by Nationwide insurance, who paid us absolutely nothing to post this. We just thought it would be a great resource for our readers.)