Dear Lori, I am 41 years old and single. I have some colleagues who are a little too concerned about my love life. They regularly ask me who I’m dating and wonder why I’m not married yet. I feel like I have to answer their questions and defend myself. Thoughts on navigating these conversations? —Flying Solo For Now
Wow. You are right to be bothered by these intrusive questioners, and they don’t just question, they opine. Nosy folk are unbearable and persistent, and they hang out on a slippery slope. It’s important for you to know that their questions will never stop. If you were, in fact, married, they’d ask when you were going to have kids, or otherwise question you about a variety of topics.
As of today, you are an expert script-flipper. Doing so puts the focus back on them. A simple, ‘Sounds like you are very interested in my personal life. What’s that about for you?’ might shut the whole thing down.
And, remember: Just because someone asks you a question, you are not required to answer it.
Dear Lori, I make a great salary and should be able to pay my bills. But, I am having trouble managing my spending, and I have some growing debt. It’s nothing tragic, but dealing with it seems overwhelming and daunting. What can I do? —MissManaged
You deserve to be financially healthy, and you are wise to worry. Neglecting your finances won’t make you or your money situation any healthier.
Let me ask: Are you having some emotional problems that you are trying to solve by spending? It is certainly quite common to soothe all kinds of discomforts by spending money. If that feels true for you, I suggest discovering additional ways of managing your stress, i.e. therapy, emotional support from loved ones, self-care. Money can really only solve money problems.
Ask yourself the “Then what?” questions: If I avoid dealing with this issue, then what? If I’m spending too much money, then what? If I go into more debt, then what? If I ignore my finances, then I can surely anticipate some predictable outcomes. Asking “Then what?” helps to visualize consequences of our actions. Don’t stay in the dark!
Money doesn’t play. It is what it says it is and doesn’t respond to avoidance or prayer. A dollar is exactly a dollar, and you can count on it being there, until it isn’t — because we’ve helped it go. If we don’t take care of our money, it can’t take care of us.