Money Monotony

23 Dec

Letterbalm Woman with CashDear LetterBalm: My friend has an infuriating habit. She interjects the price of everything into our conversations. She keeps up a constant stream of comments on the cost of anything, including her estimates of friends’ salaries, prices of homes and apartments, art, clothes, shoes, cars, celebrity net worth, even hospital costs and what she thinks her siblings have saved for retirement. It’s endless. It’s as though she sees everything through the prism of money. I’m really put off by this. I think it’s no one’s business, not to mention that it gets majorly boring. Who cares what things cost all the time? I’ve got to say something to discourage her and let her know I’d like to talk about other things. Help!

–Not Counting Cash

It’s amazing the information folks think is their business to know or speculate about. Ms. L.B. was raised to regard finances, salaries, and what people pay for anything as personal matters. Consequently, she classifies your friend’s behavior as rude as well as annoying. Needless to say, you never, ever want to involve her in a major monetary transaction or divulge anything of a financial nature to her, even if she asks you a direct question. Keep your own finances close to the vest. During a quiet moment with just the two of you over lunch or coffee, say this:

Victoria, you have a habit that I’m not comfortable with. I don’t expect you to stop totally, but I want you to try. During any conversation, you always insert the price and cost of anything and everything, from friends’ salaries to the cost of hospital stays, apartments, even little things like shoes and gourmet cupcakes. At this point, it’s such an ingrained habit with you, that I think it’s second nature. I don’t think you realize how much you do it. I was taught that money and finances were personal matters. Honestly, I find talking about these things all the time intrusive and ultimately boring. We have so many more interesting subjects to discuss than the cost of everything. Can you try to keep price out of our conversations?

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