Published on January 7, 2016 1:32 pm, by Peter Lord
Why is it that we feel the need to suffer in silence when we have money troubles?
Last week a man I greatly respected and admired shared his concerns about his financial situation. He didn’t share this information easily, in fact quite the opposite. This man had worked extremely hard throughout his life and been generous in his support of his family. Right now though, due to share market trading he is in major financial stress.
He felt revealing the true state of his finances was shameful. He thought asking for help was a sign of weakness. I’m a guy and I get it, we think we need to stay strong and battle through. But honestly, that’s insane!
I felt pained hearing about his financial struggles because he has always made sacrifices for me. He helped me pay for university, buy my first property and even set up MoneyBrilliant. At the same time he has helped my sister and brother. While at some points I would have liked more of his time, he did always make sure that we were financially supported. This great man is my Dad.
Why do we feel shame about our financial troubles?
I’ve only seen my Dad cry a few times ever, and only at weddings and funerals. To see him cry when he explained his financial troubles was extremely moving and humbling. He was shamed and felt he had failed, but he was wrong.
I don’t think I have ever been prouder of Dad. It would be (and will be) one of the greatest honours of my life to be able to help him, not only financially but also emotionally. After spending so many years of his life helping and supporting others it is the absolute least I can do. Dad coached our teams, took us to sports and events, and for more than a decade gave up his Saturday’s referring the local rugby. He has built great business relationship which have lasted decades as well as an amazing network of friends at the local golf club. Despite all this, with his family and friends who love and support him, my Dad didn’t feel like he had anyone to turn to.
We shouldn’t suffer in silence
We should never suffer in silence, particularly regarding money. I remember two Christmases’ ago sitting around my Dad’s table “enjoying” dinner. Dad was under financial stress, my brother and sister in-law were also in financial stress and me too. Did we talk about it? Did we share our experiences? No we didn’t. We suffered in silenced as we pretended to enjoy the turkey.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We know that stress kills, particularly at my Dad’s age. We all make mistakes, we all struggle. The best way to deal with these issues is by talking and sharing them, particularly when it comes to money. My experiences over the last four years starting MoneyBrilliant and overcoming my own personal financial difficulties has given me the courage to have this deeper conversation with my Dad.
There is always a silver lining
I have spoken to my Dad almost every day since he told me. I can even tell him that I love him at the end of the call (brand new experience for me). I know there will be good to come from this. And I know that when we die no one will care about how much money we have earned or have left.
It’s the great things you have achieved and the people who love you and on this score my Dad is one of the richest men in the world.
Peter is the Founder of MoneyBrilliant, stupidly optimistic and believes he can help change the world by empowering everyone through better money management.