3 things you should never talk about

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When I was growing up I was told over and over that there were three things you should never talk about.

1 – Politics

2 – Religion

3 – Money

I don’t know that I think this is really the case anymore.

What do you think? Were you told the same?

Are they rules we should still live by?

3 things you should never talk about

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  1. Just found this site while surfing, very interesting question. I feel that many people these days connect with others through shared political and religious beliefs…and in America, they also connect through discussing their investments and sometimes expensive toys. I try to stay away from the subjects unless it’s with close friends, and I’ve found it’s very tricky to turn new acquaintance into friendships without discussing them.

    1. I think it could be a cultural thing as well. In Australia we only talk about those things with very very close friends. We don’t tend to connect with people because of them. I agree, I only talk about them with close friends too. Yeah, not a problem here. Thank you.

  2. Sure, you may not want to discuss them with certain people, but these topics are among the most interesting to talk about. For me, small talk is the worst. I don’t care about weather or sports.

    1. I think there are lots of other things you can talk about that aren’t really small talk. Though I never talk about religion except to very close family and friends, no one else’s business. I never discuss money in how much I have or don’t have. Politics is something we should all be talking about.

  3. For sure! I just had an argument with my friend about money! Never again!

  4. We were also told that, and I actually still believe that it is better to avoid those topics. My significant other and his brother recently had political discussions which did not end well – they are on opposite sides of the spectrum for a start…

    1. I don’t know about avoiding them, but I am very careful about who I discuss them with. Yeah my brother and husband aren’t talking for similar reasons. Thank you Zelmare, so good to hear from you.

  5. I don’t think I was told that in my childhood, but those subjects were kind of avoided in conversations in my family. Personally, I talk only to close friends about these subjects, because I think they are very personal and do not want to get in discussions about my religious believe for example. Yet it all depends in what manner those subjects are being talked about.

    1. It seems to be a cultural thing Cornelia and depends on where you grew up. I am much the same, I really only discuss these things with people I know. Thank you Cornelia.

  6. This is interesting. With money nowadays, people seem more open about their finances and I don’t feel it’s so taboo anymore to talk about it. I’m still embarrassed to talk about salary though, even with potential bosses during interviews, but that probably came with my upbringing and culture.

    Religion, I’m always wary talking about that with people I don’t know. I always try to ask the other person first about their beliefs, and build the conversation from there. Even though I’m very open and curious about what other people believe in, they might not be as welcoming about my opinions. To be honest, I love learning about other cultures and am always asking questions about culture and religion, so I’ve had quite a few very interesting conversations with people from different backgrounds. It also helps that I lived in a multi-cultural country like Singapore for a few years where everyone is generally respectful of your beliefs. I’ve learned to ask “What do you believe in?” instead of “What is your religion” because I find that the answer to both questions can sometimes be total opposites from each other. And that way, my perception of the person will not be based on his religion.

    Politics, I want to avoid at all costs! It’s such a sensitive topic and I feel that I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough to be spouting my opinions about it.

    1. Yeah, I think salary is one of those ones that is still taboo, I have to say.
      I totally agree with you about religion. I have had people judge me, and not kindly, for my beliefs, or lack of. It wasn’t nice, even though I didn’t do the same to them. Other cultures and religions can be really interesting, and their beliefs can be fascinating.
      Politics is a funny one too, I tend to find out what people think first and then decide if it is worth the discussion, usually it isn’t.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Three things one must never discuss in polite company, politics, religion, and money. The reason is that most people don’t see eye to eye on any of the three and you don’t want to start an argument. People tend to not be so polite these days.

    1. That’s for sure, I have seen a lot of arguments because of them. I agree, people don’t tend to be, which is sad. Thank you Dana.

  8. That’s how I was brought up. And to this day, I have trouble talking about those 3 things. Might it have been better to learn how to talk about these things? I’m thinking it would.

    1. I don’t know Donna, I guess that is the question. I talk about them, my husband has always been quite vocal about politics, the other topics not so much. Thank you

  9. I am not sure there are “rules” associated with these topics, but certainly cautions. I am personally aware of rifts in families over both politics and religion. Both of these are based on beliefs and/or opinions, that can be very emotionally charged, making these topics very hard to discuss, often resulting in the total breakdown of communications between two people, two families, etc.

    Personally, I enjoy and appreciate a lively debate with someone who holds an opposite opinion. I almost always learn something–even if my mind is not changed. Still, too often, failure to accept another person’s point-of-view or belief leads to a breakdown in communications on other levels two. Too often, discussions lead to “right or wrong” judgements on one or both of the parties involved.

    Money is a touchy subject, but important in certain contexts, such as within a family. Sound financial management, on the family level is important for family security and comfort. The challenge is for an open-minded discussion that leads sound decisions.

    What say your readers?

    1. I suspect that the rules are a cultural thing. It is something I’ve found quite interesting how Americans talk freely about their religion and beliefs, where it is something that Australians never used to do.

      My husband is similar, he loves to argue, and try to set people straight, or how he sees things. It can make for interesting discussions, though he won’t argue with people who are ignorant or stupid, as he puts it.

      The readers have a bit to say, it has been quite interesting.

  10. I can’t imagine not talking about politics but I have learned to stay quiet when someone has strong opposing opinions that would draw me into a screaming match. I think it’s healthy to consider all sides but when one side starts to spout conspiracy theories and hate I’m done. I like to talk about religion to learn about other faiths but I’m not into choosing one faith over another and I don’t like politicians who use religion to benefit their campaigns (other than the freedom of choice to practise your faith). As far as money goes I don’t think you should ever ask someone how much they earn or what they paid for something. Somewhere down the line someone taught me it is rude to pry into people’s financial circumstances. If they want to talk about it because they need financial advice that’s different.

    1. You sound like me with the politics, some people you just can’t talk to. Religion I find hard because I don’t believe in any of it, it was the way I was brought up and my husband is the same, so it is a topic we always avoid with others unless they agree with us. Though having said that, I don’t devalue people because they do. Money is an odd one, I do ask people who much things cost, usually because I am interested in getting it myself or something like that. I don’t do it because I want to know how much money they have. These days you can never tell, people might be buying a lot, but it could also mean they are in a lot of debt as well. It tells you nothing. It is their business. Thank you Mama.

  11. I was expecting a longer post! Here in the UK my father taught me exactly the same thing 60 odd years ago. I do think they are still subjects to be careful about. I remember when Brexit was happening that discussing which side you were on in the vote was liable to elicit a strongly emotional response from someone who voted the other way. I think a similar care needs to be taken when discussing religion with someone who has very different views. Money is a bit different but I think that if someone thinks you are better off than they are, o simply have different priorities in how you spend your money, things can get a bit fraught.

    1. I just thought I would put out the idea. I agree we should still be careful about them. I totally agree with you RJ on all of it, thank you.

  12. Although I’ve heard about these “no-go-zones”, particularly since I’ve lived in Australia, my parents taught me the opposite.

    Conversation about politics was encouraged. During dinnertime conversation, my father challenges us kids to take any political position and he would take the opposite. His purpose was to get us to think things through and to understand their implications.

    As for religion, I grew up in a family with a strong Christian faith. Our parents encouraged us to converse about our beliefs within and outside the family. If we couldn’t give a reason for our beliefs, they in fact weren’t beliefs but parroted dogma. If we didn’t “own” the faith, it wasn’t really ours.

    As for discussions about money, we didn’t talk about this much, perhaps because we didn’t have much. Many people misquote the Bible saying, “money is the root of all evil”. But it’s the “love of money” that is the root of evil. If one loves money above all else, trouble will likely follow.

    1. We talk about those things with family, but you do have to be careful discussing them outside of the house. I’ve seen many arguments over them. People who believe in different things, or follow different politics. Can be a powder keg. I think religion is one especially here. I’m sure you have noticed that many Australians are not particularly religious, myself included. When I was growing up it didn’t matter because people didn’t talk about it.
      Thank you Don.

  13. I dont think that politics, religion or money should be discussed at the dinner table. I was always told it was impolite to ask someoe what they did for work.

    1. That is an interesting one, I would never have thought asking someone what they did was bad. I know when I tell people I’m a housewife the response can be terrible, their problem, not mine. Thank you

    2. It’s just that some people need to pigeon hole you, housewives are underrated and underpaid the world over. A very rewarding job though.

    3. That’s for sure, they are that’s for sure. I do so much around here, really all my husband does is work, I look after everything else.

  14. Yep…same mantra (and very important in front of relatives to stay stum!)……. but I do wonder at times if we now micro analyse these topics too closely, with of course the media as the “experts” promoting their own agendas. Oh! for the simple life 🙂

    1. You could be right David, I know it was said to avoid arguments, but these days it doesn’t seem to matter too much, I’m with you, the simple life. Thank you.

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