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How to confront loved ones about spending or weight

Blogger's advice: 'Be honest.'

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 6:36PM

Kris at Cheap Healthy Good is equally interested in personal finance and nutrition. Recently she combined her insights about people with severe problems in each area into one post: "Touchy subjects: Confronting loved ones about weight and money problems."


"What do you say to your 65-year-old father who puts on 100 pounds in five years? How do you tell your mom you can't support her if she has no savings when she retires?" Kris asks. "The short answer: Be honest."


Here are some highlights from her long answer:

Timing is everything. "If you are truly concerned about someone's weight or fiscal situation, the time to make your point isn't during her foreclosure or his third bypass surgery," she says.


Use tact. The person already knows he or she has a problem. "What's more, realizing that others are conscious of the predicament can be severely embarrassing," Kris says.


Be honest but don't be judgmental. Kris says: "Casting aspersions or telling someone her behavior is a result of personality failure can make her defensive, angry, and/or sad. Justifiably so. It also makes you a jackass."


Readers shared their own experiences with confronting loved ones about addictions and other serious problems. Another reader, Milena, suggested that anyone planning a confrontation should  seek professional advice first.


Reader "Hops" said, "People aren't so unaware of their own situations that they need them to be pointed out. If they want help/advice, they'll ask for it."


Published April 1, 2008

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