Are you letting your money stress affect your relationships?

Written by Lisa Pallavi Barbora

Lisa Pallavi Barbora is a Senior Consultant for Content at WFAN. Lisa is also a founder of In her earlier avatar, she was a National Writer and Consultant for HT Mint - a premier business journal in India.

December 18, 2021

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is reported making a conscious effort at succession planning for their family business, Reliance Industries Ltd, among his three children. Perhaps the unsavoury taste of chaos, between him and his brother – post his own father’s demise – over the company’s control and asset split, has now led him to take a more thought through and structured approach when it comes to eventually succeeding control to his children.

There are several high-profile industrialist families where money and control of business have not just led to clashes but a complete breakdown in blood relationships; the Singhania family of Raymonds fame, the KK Birla family, just to name two.

Not just industrialists, any family can potentially have unpleasant undercurrents driven by money matters. A sibling who is unable to match the other in professional and monetary success can feel great insecurity, leading even to jealousy and mistrust among them. A spouse who has had to stand by and watch the other squander away family savings in boundless expenditures unrelated to them will have a growing resentment over the years. A retired parent who lived well, never had to ask for money but didn’t save well, might be awkward in doing so in the twilight years of their life, causing anxiety and depression. There are so many unsaid situations in both big and small families, rich and not-so-rich families, where the underlying issue is around money.

This happens because many of us link money to our happiness, our self-worth, our ability to provide, our ability to fit into a neighbourhood, our status and our identities. Money can be a lot of things, but when we link it to who we are, then any departure from our ability to keep on generating and increasing income can become a source of stress and anxiety. There is no concept then, of money being enough. This dissonance often comes out in the form of a troubled relationship with loved ones around us.

What can you do?

If you would like a different outcome and not one where your relationship with money dictates your relationship with people around you, then you have to do things a bit different. Firstly, we must acknowledge the role money plays in our lives, the good and the bad. Treasure the good role and try to improve upon it, while at the same time, recognise the bad role and trying to change that.

In order to do the latter, you have to focus on changing your own behaviour.

To change your own behaviour, you will have to spend some time trying to identify the underlying money beliefs which lead to that behaviour. This is not something that can always be done single-handedly. In the least, you need to spend time thinking about what drives your behaviour and then speak out loud what those underlying beliefs are.

Who can help you?

A professional Financial Coach trained to work on your money beliefs and transform behaviour to your advantage can empower this change. However, if you are not ready for this kind of commitment, you can even try to start this change with the help of an accountability partner. This is a person you trust, who is there for you, who will listen patiently to your pain points and then allow you to reflect. This is someone who will remind you of the benchmarks you set for yourself to alter your behaviour and your money relationship.

In many ways, a professional Financial Coach will do this for you and a lot more, but most importantly, she will not judge.

Your personal money relationship is just that, personal. You must hone it such that it does not affect how you react with others. Money can bring insecurity, but it can also bring arrogance; money can bring joy, but it can also bring sadness; money can bring fulfilment and it can lead to emptiness. While the positive feelings work well, the negative feelings eventually prevent you from being your best version for those loved ones around you.

Learning to be confident about money and not letting it affect you in primal human equations, is a process that you can undertake today with the help of a Financial Coach or at least begin with a trusted accountability partner.

Don’t let your most important relationships in life perish because your money relationship came in the way.  

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