Why is it so DARN Difficult to Discuss Money?


Do you have difficulty talking to people about money?

  • If not - why not?
  • If so - why?

 Specifically, about their money or yours?

Many thanks.


Dr. David E. M
37 months ago

4 answers


Talking about money is still not comfortable in society. I think this comes from the social environment where we grow up. We have grown up listening to the sayings "never ask her age and never ask his salary". Also, money is something that defines your social status. Hence, how much money do you have can label you in a social bracket. That you may or may not like. 
People only share their money details when they find opportunities to grow that. Hence during the talks of investments or stocks, they open up what they have. 

Hitesh Mathpal
37 months ago
Well said. - Dr. David E. 37 months ago

Talking about money is a kind of social taboo, it is never easy neither inside the family nor externally. Intimidation, embarassment and different habits are the main factors impacting these discussions. For example, fighting about money is a predictor of divorce. When you finance causes stress and anxiety usually you don't want to share this.
There are different way to start. Break the silence but start with few details without intimidating the other person.
Usually I don't ask about their money, I discuss this just when I am asked to to this. On the personal side, I talked about my money just with the persons that could be involved.

Paolo Beffagnotti
37 months ago
Same here, I only talk to the personals I am comfortable with. - Hitesh 37 months ago
Well said, Paolo. - Dr. David E. 37 months ago


Some of the common feelings involving "money talk" are terror, panic, embarrassment, shame, guilt, shock, surprise, and anxiety.

Some other thoughts are: 

  1. If I ask that, people will reject me and think I am a nutcase.
  2. If people find out what I am worth, they will shame and reject me.
  3. It’s too vulnerable to share financial information, I would rather talk about my sex life.
  4. I am afraid of being hurt, rejected, and shamed if I ask someone about their finances
  5. If people find out I don’t have much money, they’ll lose respect for me and take advantage of me.
  6. If people find out I have a lot of money, they’ll lose respect for me and take advantage of me.
  7. If they make more or are worth more than me, I will feel small and insignificant.
  8. If they make less or are worth less than me, I will feel guilty and unworthy of having more.
  9. People don’t like people who make more money or are worth more money than them.
  10. A person’s net worth is equal to their self-worth.

Any more thoughts?

Dr. David E. M
37 months ago

Net worth experiment

Try this quick exercise.

Imagine asking the next five people you see to reveal their earnings and net worth and sharing your earnings and net worth with them. Then write down all the one-word feelings you can identify that this brings up. Next, write down the thoughts, beliefs, or reasons that come to mind that would keep you from asking or answering these financial questions. Don’t censor your responses, and keep writing until you have nothing else popping up.

You should now have a really good list of why you dislike talking about what you or other people earn and are worth financially.

Any thoughts?

Dr. David E. M
37 months ago

Have some input?