Do You Speak Up?

Today’s post comes from Tonya at Budget and the Beach. Enjoy!

Part of my stress-free living plan involves me becoming a better listener…someone who doesn’t have to voice his or her opinion about everything, especially when it was never asked for. I mean I don’t know why, since I’m brilliant…yes, I’m kidding! :)

It also involves more compassion and less judgment. I’m trying to follow the motto of “seek first to understand” before I jump to any conclusions. I have to admit, it isn’t always easy.

But when it comes to reading personal finance blogs, or when someone you know in real life is making choices that send them down the financial rabbit hole, when, if ever, do you speak up?

With friends in real life it’s a tad bit easier, since I can hear what they are saying in person and comment with things like, “well I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors,” or, ” that must be really tough for you to choose being the life of the party and spending tons of money, or spend an evening in watching Netflix.” OK, I added that comment for dramatic flair. I’d never quite say it that way…just a hint of snark.

But with PF blogs, I let my curser blink in the comments section thinking, “oh man, what can I write since I think what they are doing is a very bad, bad idea!” Because we all know the saying, “personal finance is personal.” It is, but geez, sometimes I think what kind of blog friend am I if I condone certain behavior too?

And hey, since I live in a glass house, I can’t throw stones, right? Just because my mistake might look different from another PF bloggers mistakes choices, doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with what they are doing. Or does it?

A while back in the early part of my freelance career, I made the choice to try and change careers and become a life coach. To do this I needed training, so I whipped out the plastic and signed up for some life coaching courses to become certified. Aside from the fact that I put the classes on my credit card, I was also not bringing in a lot of income as a freelancer. I was headed down the proverbial rabbit hole!

Thankfully, I didn’t get too in over my head before I came to my senses and thought, “I’m pretty sure a life coach would tell me this is a bad idea to be spending my money on this right now.”

It wasn’t until about a year after that, when I shared my personal finance blog with friends, that several of them spoke up and said, “yeah we thought it was a really bad idea to be taking that on when you were still struggling as a freelancer.” Damn, why didn’t anyone share that with me then!?!?

With friends in real life, it’s probably a lot easier to take advice, because they know you on a different level. And there is a right way of saying it like, “we support you no matter what, but have you thought about this, that, and the other thing?”

You could say, “well why can’t you do that with a PF blogger?” The answer is I’m scared. lol!

A couple years ago I was following this weight loss blogger who had over 100 pounds to lose. She was spinning her wheels and falling into the same cycle over and over. I had, in a nice way, suggested she maybe seek some professional help to get to the bottom of why she was struggling with the same cycle.

I received in an email, a tongue-lashing to end all tongue-lashings. In the end she said I am never welcome at her site again. I mean you can’t stop someone from viewing your site, but you know what I mean. So I never commented again.

So when I’ve been faced with this in the PF world, my strategy was to not leave a comment on that particular post, and only comment when I agreed, but that’s pretty wimpy, isn’t it?

So I wonder…what do you do in those situations? I’m not talking about minor overspending here and there, but seriously questionable decisions? Do you speak up, or move on? 

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