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This Is Uncomfortable

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“This Is Uncomfortable” is a show about life and how money messes with it. Each week, Reema Khrais digs in with stories about the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult. Khrais dives into uncomfortable topics like friends borrowing money, relationships and the other varied ways money shapes who we are.


Editors’ Notes: “I wanted to create a space where people could talk openly about their relationship to money,” says Reema Khrais, host of This Is Uncomfortable, a weekly narrative podcast in which she explores the personal and emotional side of money and how it shapes our lives. “I’ve learned that it can be a reflection of our values and how we want to organize our lives. But in a lot of ways, our relationship to it is also shaped by a lot of things beyond our control, like our upbringing or by systemic disadvantages.” In each episode, Khrais covers various stories based on a central topic—whether it is the uniquely American obsession with productivity, how a woman’s teeth defined her, or a young woman’s pandemic journey to end her longtime shopping addiction.


The Palestinian American came up with the idea for the show after she realized that she rarely talked with her friends and family about money. When she was in her mid-twenties, Khrais broached the topic of savings with her parents—both of whom are nurses and big savers. She was surprised to hear her dad’s firm stance on how much she should have in her bank account by the time she turned 30. “He said, ‘You should have around $100K saved by now,’” she recalls. “It made me realize how dangerous it can be if you don’t talk about these topics, because you’re more likely to set unrealistic expectations. You don’t know how to measure yourself up to people.” Khrais had heard many stories like hers while covering news about business and economy as a reporter for WNYC and WUNC Radio, though it wasn’t until she started podcasting that she was able to fully immerse herself in people’s intimate and vulnerable experiences. “I don’t want to tell people how to invest or how to save,” she says. “I want people to connect with the folks on the podcast and to see them not just for their struggles, but for their personality and as three-dimensional beings.”

79 Episodes
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This is a show about life and how money messes with it. Every Thursday, we’ll dig into the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and defines what it means to be an adult. The first episode drops June 13.
When money makes it weird

When money makes it weird

2019-06-1324:3321

Reema tries to settle a debt she’s been avoiding. And what happens when one person in a relationship has way more money?
Crying at work

Crying at work

2019-06-2021:107

What happens when work is the thing that’s making us cry … at work? Plus: Reema asks her old boss an awkward question.
Home/work

Home/work

2019-06-2720:404

Reema Khrais explores the “jobs” we take on in our families — starting with her own. Plus, one couple comes up with a creative way to stop fighting over a dreaded household chore.
Our new game, “Financial Faceoff” puts one couple’s financial life to the test. Plus, we’ll get an update from the couple in our first episode, Nika and Terence.
Lost in the game

Lost in the game

2019-07-1124:075

When you’re a high-stakes gambler laying down tens of thousands of dollars at a blackjack table, the value of money takes on a whole new meaning.
Growing up, Ziwe Fumudoh wanted to be a pop star. Her parents wanted her to go into medicine or finance. She ended up as a comedian writing for “Desus & Mero.” This week we talk about her work and money.
The college fund

The college fund

2019-07-2523:282

 When you’re a kid, your parents make all the financial decisions for you. But what happens when you grow up … and don’t agree with their choices?
We’re keeping things just a little uncomfortable this week with another round of our favorite game: Financial Face-Off! But first: We need your help telling a new story.
I have class anxiety

I have class anxiety

2019-08-0820:506

A listener struggles to navigate all the unspoken rules of middle-class life.
What dad left behind

What dad left behind

2019-08-1526:553

When money, death and grief mix there’s no playbook for what to do. And for years, one young man has been stuck. This episode deals with depression and suicide. If you or someone you know needs to talk, call 1-800-273-8255 or text “TALK” to 741741.
Most of us tell little white lies at some point or another to make things less weird about money. But what happens when disaster strikes, and your money situation becomes impossible to hide?
Aparna Nancherla has made a career in comedy, where she often delves into her own struggles with mental health. We look at what happens when your job is tied to the most painful parts of your life. Plus, The New York Times’ Amanda Hess on treating your work like a commodity.
Cashing in on your kids

Cashing in on your kids

2019-09-0518:182

Something to think about when you’re watching the new “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” this weekend: For every piece of this family’s massive empire, matriarch Kris Jenner takes a 10% cut. And when business and family mix, you can’t help but wonder how the lines get blurred. Does being your child’s manager get in the way of being a good mom? This week, BuzzFeed’s Zan Romanoff walks us through the history and stigma of the “momager,” and we hear from a real-life stage mom about her day-to-day.
Everyday liars

Everyday liars

2019-09-1213:572

You tell your mom you’re broke. You pretend to have student loans. You wear knock-off couture. People tell lies about money all the time. We asked about your “white lies” — and you didn’t disappoint.
Can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love

2019-09-1924:442

After hooking up with her roommate, one woman can’t seem to avoid him — or his spending habits, and a couple tries showing their love for each other … in a way neither of them actually loves.
Reema was on one of our favorite podcasts, “Call Your Girlfriend,” a few weeks ago to answer listeners’ tricky money questions about divorce, student debt and (shudder) investing.
F you, pay me

F you, pay me

2019-10-0322:559

Caitlin Boston asked for a raise. Her boss gave her a hard no. Then she made it her mission to figure out what she was worth… and to get paid. Plus: we teach you how to get paid too.
TIU Live: I hate my boss

TIU Live: I hate my boss

2019-10-1021:052

We’re presenting a new segment this week called “The Group Chat.” It’s when we bring in friends of the pod to address your money and job problems. Joining us for this first installment are NPR’s Julia Furlan and Keisha “TK” Dutes of Glitch and “Hear to Slay.” We recorded this episode live onstage at Werk It, the women’s podcasting festival from WYNC Studios, earlier this month at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.
Instrument of sabotage

Instrument of sabotage

2019-10-1726:241

In the cutthroat world of professional classical music, Eric Abramovitz was headed toward a shining career. Until something — or someone — got in the way.
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Comments (15)

Adeline Francois

I'm glad one partner was able to rescue another. Can they copy & paste that google spread sheet to my email. Better yet, sell it! I'd buy it. Great story! both partners in debt is just sad. I should know that is my current situation.

Mar 2nd
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Morgan Watson

This is an episode of marketplace?

Feb 27th
Reply

Jeremy Einhorn

Is anyone else’s “In sickness and in fraud” episode a different podcast?

Feb 26th
Reply

Beauregard Throckmorton

Every time I listen, I think "This IS uncomfortable." Then I smile. Nice work. Love the podcast.

Nov 22nd
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I Hope Someone Relates

So strange to have Venmo be such a big part of a romantic relationship.

Oct 2nd
Reply

Ari Christine

Its my opinion that people feel they need to share all aspects of their lives to others. while I understand the young man's reservation about sharing the details of his inheritance with his friends - I don't feel he was "lying." Money matters are private. He wasn't lying.

Aug 29th
Reply (1)

Maher Hajarat

Great podcast

Aug 17th
Reply

Kristin Chong

Gosh I wish they did a story when both people are in debt.

Aug 17th
Reply

T

great podcast, really relatable.

Jul 20th
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J.

The premise of this show is false. Money doesn't mess with people. People mess with people.

Jun 30th
Reply (1)

Beauregard Throckmorton

Great podcast. Hits home!

Jun 25th
Reply

Vishal Patel

great podcast. I listened to it first and then again with my wife. makes you think about your own situation and how you want to approach about things that you may not really talk or think about

Jun 16th
Reply

Hadeel Khrais

Great show! It provides great advice and really makes me look at money differently. Add to your playlist!

Jun 14th
Reply
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