Should you let friends borrow money?


If your friend comes up to you and tells you they’re in a time of need and they ask for your help and you look them in the eye and tell them, “Sure, I’ll help you, but you have to pay me back every penny and maybe even interest.” …that means you weren’t really friends to begin with.

When real friends hear that a friend is in need, they go out of their way for their friend, because that’s what friends do. That’s the point of being friends. You’re more than just allies in the game of life. You’re brothas from a nutha mutha.

When a friend asks to borrow money from you, you just give them the money and never expect to see it again. You don’t have to be a drama queen martyr about it. Your friend could ask to borrow money and you could give it to them, and they can pay you back just like normal, but when you hand over your money you know in your mind that you never expect to see that money again, and you’re going to forget about that non-debt as quickly as possible. Then, if your friend ever does pay you back it will be a pleasant surprise, and it will make you feel closer to your friend since they gave you more than you expected from them. And your friendship won’t go through any rocky times because you weren’t  permanently stressing about holding debts over each other’s heads.

It’s fine to lend people money and expect to get paid back; just understand that expecting to get paid back is a clear sign that you’re not friends, you’re allies at best. So if you lend someone money and expect to get paid back, don’t hug that guy a party the next weekend and tell him you’re buddies.

And if you ask one of your friends for money and they get domineering about the details of the loan and keep pestering you about it, then you know you’re not really friends. You’re only as valuable to them as long as it’s convenient for them, but they won’t go out of their way for you, because your friendship isn’t worth a piece of paper to them. They failed the friendship test and aren’t worth the time and effort to pursue a deeper relationship with.

And when you do hand cold hard cash to one of your friends that you never expect to see again, pause for a moment and smell the roses. A good friend is the rarest, most wonderful thing in life, and today you got to experience real friendship; apparently there’s someone in your life who is worth more than a piece of paper. You’re lucky to have them. Cherish them.

That’s why you shouldn’t lend friends money…that you expect to get back.

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About wise sloth

Note: The information I share here may seem random, but it explains why I write about a lot of the subjects I do. I was raised poor white Texas trailer trash. At the age of 17 I got baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, and at 18 I attended a Christian college where my Biblical studies promptly led me to the conclusion that Christianity is mythology. I left that school at 19, and a year later I joined the United States Air Force as an all around computer technician. I was stationed in Italy, Germany, Kuwait and Hawaii where I took online and night classes in psychology, which led me to the conclusion that the military is a cult. For all the good things I got out of the military, I never got a good explanation of why we invaded Iraq. So I volunteered to separate from the military early when my career field was downsized and moved back to my home state of Texas. I found that during the seven years I was enlisted, either America had changed or I had. I was dismayed by the apathy, materialism, wastefulness and anti-intellectualism of civilian life in American suburbia. So I sold everything I owned and immigrated to New Zealand. As majestic as that was, it wasn’t the land of milk and honey I was looking for. Unable to find work in the IT sector I managed a warehouse, worked alongside migrant laborers in fruit orchards and vineyards and studied creative writing. For personal and financial reasons I eventually moved back to America. I’m still kicking around trying to get it all figured out. My long term goal is to build an intellectual monastery where smart people can live for free in a stress free environment where they can focus on their life’s work. It would sure help if I got a MacArthur Fellowship, sponsorship and/or an agent. I’ve been blogging since 2006 about topics that I feel are important and don’t get enough attention. The Wise Sloth blog contains editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial. I update it as often as possible. View all posts by wise sloth

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