Table talk

14 ways to to defuse touchy financial conversations

Holiday family gatherings can be a great way to catch up on conversation, but they are also a potential minefield of miscommunication.

Ever hear the phrase, “in polite company, never talk about religion, politics, sex or money” — and certainly not at the table, during mealtime. But money is a topic that can easily be brought up, especially among close family members. What do you do when someone makes a passive aggressive (or direct) remark about your finances?

First, try to remember that very often your family member’s comment is coming from the best of intentions. Their words may not convey love and respect, but frequently they are just worried about you and don’t know how to say so. Second, don’t take the bait. Instead, impress them with your financial insight!

Below is a list of some commonly overheard comments, a translation of their real meaning, and a way for you to respond. Use these to defuse what otherwise might turned into an emotionally charged conversation.

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