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“How” we communicate can bring us closer together in a warm fuzzy kinda way or pull us apart with feelings of disconnection, separateness and heartfelt hurt. New research is now identifying communication behaviors that neuro-chemically bond or distance us. While the focus of this research was on leadership styles in corporate America, we can apply this to our personal money lives as well.

Judith E. Glaser and Richard D. Glaser have published research that shows:

  • when we have concern for others
  • are truthful about what is on our minds
  • approach discussions with the quality of curiosity
  • stay open and willing to practice difficult conversations
  • and anchor ourselves in a united vision

Then magic happens inside of our bodies…the above behaviors stimulate the hormone “oxytocin,” a feel good or “tend and befriend” hormone. Wouldn’t all of us want more oxytocin with us on our money dates?

Other communication behaviors, such as:

  • not trusting the intentions of another
  • or focusing on convincing your partner rather than understanding his/her viewpoint
  • pretending to listen all the while having thoughts going on in your head of your next response
  • and being highly emotional, which can distract us from active listening

Creates another form of hormone magic, where the stress hormone cortisol gets triggered and floods our body. “When we perceive rejection, criticism, when we feel marginalized or minimized, cortisol, shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviors. We become more reactive and sensitive. We often perceive even greater judgment and negativity than actually exists.”

“Cortisol can circulate in the body for up to 26 hours, imprinting the interaction on our memories and magnifying the impact it has on our future behavior. Cortisol functions like a sustained-release tablet – the more we ruminate about our fear, the longer the impact.” (taken from the Harvard Business Review)

Deep breath here! This is really important research to help us shape behaviors on our money dates that bring us together rather than separate us. See what practicing oxytocin communication behaviors does for your money dates…with yourself or your partner.

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