“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.”