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Understanding the Present through the Past

The best way to understand our own emotional history is to think about past experiences. We can start with our life growing up and continue until the present.

Activity 1

Individually sit down in a quiet place with paper and pencil. Begin by thinking about your first memories about money growing up. Write down some of the events that happened. Try to list at least ten things. Some things to get you started might include receiving an allowance, a parent being laid off, or how you spent money as a child. Continue to think about your experiences through your teen years such as having money for recreation or getting your first job. Your young adult years may also have provided you with some experiences that affect how you think about money today. When you have completed this list, go back and identify the emotions that went with each event. Then think about how those events affect your emotions and actions today.

Continue this exercise by thinking about adulthood to the present day. You have just completed an assessment of many of the emotions you have today regarding money.

Activity 2:

Share what you learned from completing the first activity with your partner. It is important that the person listening be respectful and listen to the other person without interrupting or making judgments. Use the guidelines mentioned previously to make this a positive communication experience.

Identifying and describing feelings can be difficult and emotionally draining. In fact, this exercise can bring up painful experiences that are difficult to think about and even more difficult to share. Disclosing such personal feelings makes us feel fragile and vulnerable. Treat such disclosures respectfully and do not use this information as a weapon against your partner now or later.

Activity 3:

Individually think about the list you developed above and ask yourself how the events and the emotions that go with those events affect your current financial actions. In other words, how has your emotional history affected your current behaviors? Write down your responses.

Activity 4:

Set aside time to share your personal findings with your partner. Again, as a listener do not interrupt or make judgments about your partner's findings. Finally, share ways these findings might result in conflicts. It is useful to use the skills identified in the modules about communication and conflict management to address these conflicts.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, November 28). Finances. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License