Five Relationship Assumptions to Avoid When Money is Tight By Noah St. John NoahStJohn.com
Saying to an entrepreneur “don’t let money affect your relationships” is like saying “don’t let oxygen affect your breathing.”
Without one, it’s awfully hard to have the other.
What I tell my coaching clients who come to me with money worries is that money doesn’t CHANGE anything; it REVEALS everything.
Money acts as a magnifying glass. If you’re a poor jerk, you’ll be a rich jerk – only jerkier. If you’re a broke nice person, you’ll be a rich nice person – only nicer.
So in these tough financial times, how can we make sure our relationships stay healthy (even if our 401K doesn’t)?
Here are five relationships assumptions to avoid when money is tight:
1. Assuming money is everything.
It’s true: the best things in life are free. But the mortgage, groceries and Internet service aren’t.
The fact is, if you have to spend money to enjoy your significant other – and indeed, life – you’re actually facing a deeper issue.
2. Assuming a change in your money situation won’t affect the relationship.
This is the flip side of the first assumption. Remember: money doesn’t CHANGE anything; it REVEALS everything. Be aware that when you experience a significant change in your money situation, your relationship’s about to change in one way or another.
3. Assuming things will turn around by themselves.
Also known as the Ostrich Syndrome. We’ve all been there: believing that “someone out there” will fix our problems. As FDR said, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
It’s good to assume that things will be better in the future. The problem comes when we think they’ll get better without us having to do anything.
4. Assuming you and your partner look at money the same way.
No assumption causes more arguments than this one. People tend to fall into four behavioral styles with regards to money: The Spender, The Saver, The Avoider and The Monk.
Imagine a Spender and a Saver living together. Now imagine their income just got cut in half. Insert argument here.
There’s no “right or wrong” with regards to how you relate to money, although each style has its pros and cons. Just know what you are and what your partner is, and adjust accordingly.
5. Assuming things will be this way forever.
This is the “Why Bother?” Syndrome, the flip side of the Ostrich Syndrome. When you assume “why bother?”, your actions will be half-hearted (or some other part of your anatomy), which will naturally lead to half-success, or less.
The key is to find the middle ground between the Ostrich Syndrome and the Why Bother Syndrome. This is an example of how Afformations, or empowering questions, have helped many people make better assumptions about life and their relationship to it.
We all have to work to overturn our unconscious assumptions, especially negative ones about money and relationships. But do the work and you’ll reap the rewards of healthier relationships with your partner, your money and yourself.