Are you comfortable talking about money? Your own money?

Remember when sex used to be a “dirty” subject? My, times have changed!

Nowadays, people are more likely to speak openly about their sex lives than their money. Their “dirty” money. It’s a surprisingly secretive subject.

In fact, yakking about money in a social setting is typically viewed as, well, crass. Probably because we hear it come up as a loud, “How much did you pay for it?” or “Can you get me one?” or even “Can I try that on?” And we certainly don’t want anyone knowing how much we earn or how little, now, do we?

I’ll contend that speaking of money in a social setting is almost as verboten as speaking of religion. Here, though, I intend to do both. And unlike the usual message when money and religion are used in the same sentence, I won’t be asking for a donation or passing the offering plate. It will be more like looking at the spirit of money instead. (As I’ve found, atheists, agnostics, and nontheists have some of the best insights here. Stay aboard!)

You may have noticed a pattern in the previous postings so far. This project of looking closely at my own personal money issues was leading me to other folks who were doing the same with theirs. And by talking to each other, our individual understandings were being broadened. Frankly, it was pretty comforting.

Yes, we soon gained an awareness of which details would remain too personal to discuss and of our own emotional hot buttons, and we respected those, but the very act of discussing our money issues felt liberating.

While these Talking Money posts include discussion topics and exercises you can do on your own, they’re more fun and revealing when you do them with a group of friends or colleagues. In fact, many of the insights here have arisen from just that kind of open discussion — sometimes one-on-one with a trusted friend; other times within a lively circle. See what you’re comfortable with.

In the meantime, I’m hoping for some lively discussion in the comments field.

For now, let me ask:

How do you feel asking others for money? For yourself? For a cause you support? Or as repayment for a loan?

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