A survey has revealed Brits prefer to discuss their weight, mental health and family issues instead of money.
On behalf of Lowell, which helps consumers and businesses manage credit better, OnePoll surveyed 2,000 adults revealing what topics Brits consider ‘socially acceptable’ to discuss.
While 18 per cent of those surveyed felt the subjects of miscarriage and infertility were off-limits, one quarter said the same about finances.
One in five believed it was unsuitable to disclose their salary in social scenarios, while more than half said the topic of money should be off limits at work.
The research revealed Brits feel conversations about drugs, sex and parenting techniques are also ‘taboo’, adding it leaves them feeling ‘nervous’.
Commenting on the survey’s findings, clinical and counselling psychologist, Tamara Licht Musso, said:
Not talking can seem the best short term strategy, but is a negative coping mechanism and at some point it cracks. Avoidance is also a classic way of coping to keep anxiety at bay, but we cannot avoid our thoughts, which is where all emotions emerge, therefore pushing back such thoughts may result in them appearing through symptoms such as difficulties with sleep.
Taking the ‘easy’ route might seem to be the answer because the rational path – talking – puts us in a much more vulnerable position. In the short term this may be true, but it puts us in a healthier place in the long term.
The fear of being judged is based on distorted thinking patterns such as jumping to conclusions and mind reading. For example, some people will think that by sharing their salary others may misjudge their ability.
As Musso states, ‘the fear of being judged’ was revealed to be an issue in the research.
For example, more than half felt if they opened up about personal issues they would be judged, while another one in two liked to avoid ’embarrassing’ topics.
Others meanwhile feared opening up could leave to other consequences, with more than one third fearing it could lead to arguments.
One in 10 felt they could lose their job for discussing certain topics, while another one in five felt it could break up their relationship.
Avoiding talking about an issue has led to other problems though, with research discovering 31 per cent have experienced sleep loss, while another one in sex suffered from mental health issues.
Almost half of those polled admitted they wished society made it easier to talk about difficult subjects, making it more acceptable.
Speaking to this, Lowell’s Managing Director John Pears added:
Breaking down these taboos and having open, honest conversations helps understanding, and can pave the way to finding answers to problems.
Talking to someone is the first step, but it can obviously be difficult and many are worried, aren’t sure who can help or don’t feel they can trust someone.
We know that when it comes to money or debt, people can be particularly sensitive or embarrassed about it, and customers tell us that not talking has caused them to worry more and for things to get worse, which really doesn’t have to be the case – there is help out there.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.