Do You Know the Two Things Every Money Experience Has in Common?

Despite doing everything “right,” have you ever felt like sheesh just wasn’t working out they way you wanted?

An unpleasant business experience left me feeling like this, recently. And if you’ve heard of or have first-hand knowledge of the stereotypical car buying experience, you know of what I speak.

To say I was pissed off is an understatement. I was beyond livid. So much so that I went to a “place” I rarely go: In my head, I wondered if I was being taken advantage of and, if true, I was curious to know if it was because I am unmarried.

I stewed over this for days. Even though I knew I’d never know the answers to these ephemeral questions and, most importantly, that the situation would soon be resolved and I’d get what I want. So why was I so upset? Because my feelings were hurt. (I know, sounds so dramatic for a business deal, right?!) Bear with me, though…

How often do you focus more on your feelings about a situation than you do the facts of it?

Exactly!

I ask because the three things that rankled my feathers in this business transaction are probably the same that tend to rankle you when it comes to your experiences with money.

From a feelings standpoint, I was miffed.

  • We had a communication breakdown;
  • I couldn’t control the actions or the timing thereof of the other party; and
  • I didn’t feel they were courteous.

I was annoyed because, in the world according to me, I was right and they were wrong.

Hmm…

Money is emotional

As a culture, we like bifurcating things. We put business relationships and experiences over “there,” and personal relationships and experiences over “here.” But let’s face it, relationships are relationships – only the type, duration, and depth differ.

And, in business as well as personal relationships, when money enters the picture so do your emotions.

You tend to react to the facts based more on your feelings, which is precisely why stuff can get lost in translation. It’s why you feel you’re speaking one language and they another.

You’re chuckling right now, aren’t you? Especially as you think of love and money.

Consider your current romantic relationship or reflect back on your previous ones. When things got a little uncomfortable where money (or most any other topic, really) is concerned, I bet you can distill the “why” behind your reaction down to the same three reasons as to why I felt things got a bit funky for me in this business deal.

Like me, at times you had a communication breakdown. Perhaps you were talking, but feeling unheard. Perhaps, as so many of the couples with whom I work do, you confused talking about money transactions as being the same as having substantive conversations about values and beliefs where money is concerned.

Like me, occasionally you became frustrated because the aspect (err…person) you most wanted to control, you can’t/couldn’t. Yes, you can do all the right things regarding what you can control, but that doesn’t apply to you controlling the other person’s behavior, choices, or attitude.

Like me, you sometimes felt disregarded and disrespected. Not so much by the other person’s words, but mostly by the deeds done or not done the way you wanted, in the time-frame you wanted. Oh, expectations.

So, the next time you feel like you and your mate are speaking two different money languages (there will be a next time, you know); or the next time a business deal seems stalled for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on, try this: creating a “T” account – feelings vs. facts.

On one side, note all the feelings that are coming up for you; on the other side, capture the facts of the situation. Doing this is how I unwound myself out of a tizzy.

I find it to be a useful exercise for many things, including helping me to separate my feelings about the situation from the facts of it.

It’s a simple, yet powerful exercise you may want to experiment with the next time the love and money thing isn’t going too smoothly (or you have a business experience that isn’t panning out the way you want). Ironically, this “T” account method can help you put your feelings into perspective and respond to the facts of the situation more from a position of power.

Hence, my adage: feel your feelings; focus on the facts. The two things that make every money experience startling similar.

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