Denial, in definition, is a form of a defense mechanism. However, being in denial does not make the problem go away. We can choose not to open those bills and let the calls from creditors go to voicemail. But that will not make the debt any less. If you do either of these things, and pretend everything is financially fine, then you are in debt denial.
One of my colleagues at a former job owed tens of thousands of dollars in mortgage, student loan and credit card debt with her husband. They were one of those couples who hoped the other would take care of the bills and sort things out with the banks. Eventually, the debt became so insurmountable they couldn’t handle it and divorced. Debt denial led them to default, and of course, ruin the loving relationship they once had.
My point is, if you don’t overcome debt denial it only makes things worse. Here are five points that some of my friends, family and clients have admitted to have helped them come into terms about being in debt:
1. Talk to Someone you Trust
The number of zeros on a loan bill can be soul crushing. You might even say to yourself ‘there is no way I am in this amount of debt.’ Well, you are. When you are in debt, you feel alone, lost and confused. During these moments, it’s best to talk to someone you trust and let it all out. You can scream, yell, blame the system, and, importantly, confide. When it’s all out, your head will be clear enough to think about the next step.
2. Stop Waiting To Overcome Debt Denial
Don’t let the days slip by without doing anything about your debt. Don’t wait for that moment when everything snaps back into shape. Get off your chair, open those envelopes, and decide to move forward and address the problem head on.
3. Call a Specialist
If your loved ones are no help regarding your debt, and if that pushes you even more into debt denial, call an expert. Search online for a nonprofit that provides debt counseling, or call the local government for a list of such services in your area. Call an expert and ask them what to do. This is actually one of the best things you can do to overcome debt denial and, possibly, debt.
4. Imagine a Point in Future When you Will be Debt-free
You are in debt now, but you won’t be forever if you start paying it off today. Do the math and see how long it will take you to finish paying off all the loans you’ve borrowed. Teach yourself to look forward to that month and year. Fantasize about what you’ll do on the day when you are debt free for real. This exercise will motivate you to move forward.
5. Read about Debt
You will be much better suited to sort out your financial obligations when you are well-informed. If you can’t bring yourself to face your debt, read about other people’s debts. Read about debt in general and consequences of delinquency. Read about those people who famously overcame debt. Sooner rather than later, you will see your debt as a perfectly normal adversity that you can overcome.
Wishful thinking will not make your debt go away. Be proactive, don’t lose heart and make a plan to pay off that debt right this second.