I tell women in my groups that talking about money will inevitably cause each of them to feel shame, either before they speak, while they are speaking, or after they have spoken. Breaking the taboo against talking about money evokes shame. I encourage them to share their stories, despite their feelings of shame. I promise that, if they can tolerate the embarrassment, humiliation, or shame, good things will come from it emotionally. I make the same promise to you as you read this book. Even if you only share your stories with yourself—it may be the first time you are aware of many of your feelings about money, and some of them may be uncomfortable—opening yourself up to them will bring positive results in the end.
In the groups, the women then go into pairs and take turns talking about what they wrote on their first card. The energy in the room electrifies as they share what for many are long-held secrets and hidden places. Whatever shame is there is only fleeting. The relief of sharing is palpable, as is the gratitude. Being listened to with respect and caring provides the support needed to explore this long-forbidden subject. This is what is denied us when we comply with the taboo against talking about money.
Other questions about this taboo:
Were money matters discussed in your family?
If so, in what manner were they discussed?
Did your parents retreat to discuss money in private, or did such discussions take place openly?
Who do you talk with about money?
Who don’t you talk with, but need to?
Who don’t you talk with, but want to?
What comes up for you when you think about talking with friends and family about money?
Reprinted with permission from Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money. Copyright © 2011 by Kate Levinson, PhD, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.