Imagine you recently discussed with your spouse replacing your aging car. The discussion did not go well until you dug down far enough to understand that layoffs are a near-term possibility where your spouse works.
Your spouse knows how much you want a new car, but you’re not a crazy risk-taker.
You agreed it makes sense to wait before buying that new car.
Now, you’re watching a commercial showing hands-free driving or a self-parking car or hybrid gas savings. How exciting! You want this in your next car.
Before you blurt this out, stop and think. It takes just a few small words to avoid upsetting someone you love and to avoid reopening what was a very difficult discussion about buying a car.
For your spouse, whose income is at risk, if you say, “Ooh! I want a self-parking car!”, it sounds like this: “I want a car! And I want more than just a basic car. And I want it now!” Do not expect an enthusiastic response. At best, you’ll get another round of why getting a car now is a super bad idea.
If you say, “When we can afford to replace our car, I would really love to get a self-parking one like this if we can swing it!”, your spouse will hear this: “I’m on board with our plan to wait, but wouldn’t it be nice to get a self-parking car if we can?” And it is entirely possible you will both agree on the same goal, but at the least your spouse will feel heard and respected and just might note that getting a self-parking car later would be a great way to delight you.
You can use this tip with any dream you have agreed to defer for now. like becoming parents, buying a home, moving to another state, or launching a business. Just begin with words that affirm your earlier agreement, then share your enthusiasm for all the marvelous possibilities that lie ahead.