March 26, 2020
Money shames surfaces in difficult times
It is easy to overlook the emotions that swirl around money. But they often come to the surface when our financial security is questioned.
The spread of the corona virus has fueled American financial fears, an Kaiser Family Foundation survey found last week. More than half of the employees surveyed fear that they will lose income if their job is closed or their working hours are reduced.
The reduced income is hardest and fastest for low-wage, part-time and hourly workers. But even among people with more financial resources, more than half are concerned that they need to invest in retirement or college funds.
Even if financial problems are due to events beyond an individual’s control, a feeling of shame can arise. It is a pity that there are three TED videos that examine the emotions surrounding money.
Given the fact that economists are increasingly predicting a recession after the virus, it may be useful to keep an eye on the findings and coping mechanisms discussed by the speakers in these videos.
It is a pity that “the feeling or experience that we are faulty is very painful … based on our bank account balances, our debts, our houses or our job titles”. Tammy Lally explained in the first video.
Lally, a financial coach, believes her brother was driven to suicide the same day by his shame over his bankruptcy. She said she was judgmental at first, but after her own financial problems, she understood better the intense pressure her brother felt.
Lallys and her brother’s shame about money was rooted in childhood, she said: The siblings learned from their parents that money would make them happy. “We have internalized this in the belief in money that our self-worth is equal to our net worth.”
As the corona virus hits the stock market and slows the economy, many workers feel enormous financial pressure. But Thasunda Duckettwho runs a major bank’s consumer division said in a second video that people only increase the pressure if they blame themselves.
“We have a close relationship with money because it involves judgment,” she said.
Duckett and Lally both recommend one thing that people can do if they have money problems. To overcome part of the shame and fear, you have to let go of the burden by speaking openly about money to others. You will quickly find that you are not alone.
“Money can no longer be a taboo subject,” said Lally.
2007, a year before the financial crisis, Elizabeth White, A Harvard Business School graduate and one-time international consultant plunged into “economic free fall.”
Unemployed and on food stamps, she said in the third video that she was ashamed and hid her financial problems from her friends. She was in her fifties at the time, and in the video she reveals her fears that her money could run out as she approaches retirement age. She apparently recovered from her emotional crisis and wrote a book: “Fifty-five, unemployed and Fake normal. ”
But telling their story is an act of compassion for other older people who are going through the same thing.
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