Don`t talk to me about money
Talking to people about money is almost on a par with talking to them about their sexuality. It is not just rude, it is very, very, very rude. So in a spirit of human loving kindness if the topic of money arises there is almost no lie that I will not speak, no story I refrain from telling, and no degree of confusion I try to sow in the pursuit of saving others from the mistake of presuming to talk to me about money. In a spirit of brotherly love, remember. In most situations that I find uncomfortable I dive into the technique of using language as a great ornament. I’m pretty good at it, too. But it’s not so much that I deliberately use language as mere decoration out of devious motives. It is that language is more decoration than anything else by its very nature. Most people disagree, and I think it is because they over estimate language. (People too frequently over estimate too many things.) Language is an ornamental device more effective at creating impressions than conveying information.
Most people over estimate language. It is an ornamental device more effective at creating impressions than conveying information.
If I cannot block, stop, evade or divert the discussion then I try to retard it as best I can. It’s understandably difficult if the topic of money comes up between me and an employer about salary, or me and a city hall official about health insurance and pension premiums, and it seems not just unavoidable, but for them a perfectly natural, necessary and legitimate topic to discuss. But I disagree.
My conviction predisposes me to disregard, or treat extremely lightly conversations about money. I mean, I am prone to joke, or to casually deflect whatever another person has to say. But using of language as an ornament, or exaggerating information to create an impression sets us up for misunderstanding, because where as my partner is speaking seriously about money and (probably) assuming that I am doing the same, what I am doing is trying to deliver throw-away comments in order to obfuscate the matter as well as to get through the unpleasant (and probably immoral) discussion as quickly as possible. Run away!
Sometimes, my sincere motive of trying to protect people from their own stupidity and rudeness is taken as stupidity and rudeness in itself, because people conserve their first impressions from a conversation with me - impressions formed on the basis of an ornamental use of language. If people discover or suspect my attempts to retard or stop conversations that I find uncomfortable and they recognize my strategies for doing it, then suddenly I am cast as the offending party. I’m the liar. I’m the sneak. I’m the dishonest one. I’m the one who cannot be trusted.
I expect people to know better, because when in doubt I habitually credit people with more intelligence than - it sadly turns out - they actually possess. I am guilty of as much over estimation as the next guy.