People like to do all that they can to keep up appearances. Most folks go out of their way to keep their homes and even their vehicles looking good. We put energy and money into looking our best; either through wearing nice clothes, taking better care of our bodies or both. And who can deny that we all like to brag a bit about our families and careers when we meet someone new?
Any time we meet someone for the first time, the dreaded small talk will come up. You know, those conversations about the mundane aspects of life. Even during these types of conversations, we all like to put our best foot forward and to project the best image of our lives as possible. There is one subject, however, that people often avoid talking about as much as possible – credit card debt!
A recent poll indicates that Americans consider credit card debt to be the worst topic possible to discuss with people who they just met. Americans were asked in this poll to rate how likely they would be to talk on a certain topic with a total stranger. Poll participants were asked to rate each topic with a rating between very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely and very unlikely as their ultimate answers.
Eighty Five percent of poll responders said that they would either be somewhat unlikely or very unlikely to talk about credit card debt with a stranger, which makes this the lowest rated category on the poll.
To put this in perspective, people rated ‘Details about your love life at the second worst, with 84 percent and their work salaries at third worst, with about 80 percent. These are very personal topics, so it is apparent that people feel very embarrassed or put on the spot about credit card debt to place it as being worse to talk about than these hot button topics.
The poll indicated that younger Americans were a bit less embarrassed to talk about credit card debt than their older counterparts. But even with that in mind, 79 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 stated that they would not be comfortable talking about credit card debt with a stranger.
Debt and Personal Failure
Why are people so afraid to talk about credit card debt? It is probably because many people view debt as being a symptom of personal failure. This is especially true in the years following the most recent financial recession. Americans do not like to admit that they are struggling with debt. If you are someone who finds it hard enough to pay the bills every month, how much harder is it to actually talk with someone about these types of struggles?
Before the most recent recession, credit card debt was not considered to be such an off-limits topic of discussion. Most people were used to living off of credit cards, and it didn’t seem like a serious issue. Today, however, things have certainly changed. People obviously find credit card debt to be a touchy, if not downright painful topic. This study really proves that the majority of us simply don’t want to discuss our credit card debt problems.
If we don’t feel like discussing credit card debt, then we at least need to take action about this embarrassing subject. More American consumers need to do what they can to stop using credit cards for every day purchases and to pay off their consumer debts sooner rather than later… It is a heck of a lot easier to talk about credit card debt when you don’t have any!
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