How to avoid lending money

Polite ways to avoid lending people money.

Listen first. People often feel embarrassed, even humiliated, when asking for help. If you react critically or launch into a lecture about financial responsibility, it can be seen as an attack on their character. You don’t have to promise or commit anything to demonstrate that you understand this person’s situation and that you want to preserve their dignity. Instead, say, “I know how difficult it is for you to ask to borrow money, and I’m honored that you trust me to do so.”

Refuse the request politely and concisely. Keep your tone of voice even and moderate. Say, “I’d like to help you, but I can’t lend you money. Don’t be wishy-washy, if you tell him you’ll think about it or that you need to check with your spouse, it only confuses your intentions. Most people can handle rejection, but feel disrespected if chained. Helpful: If you think you’re going to be asked for money, practice saying “no” in the mirror or with a friend. Planning and rehearsing your response will help you project the message you want.

Offer a simple explanation if the person asks you why you are refusing them. Do not embellish or lie. Just say, “I don’t have the money available to help you. Hope you can understand. Better yet: make a rule for yourself. Say, “It is my policy not to lend money to family members and friends because it creates awkward feelings. I know this is a difficult time for you and I’m so sorry that I can’t help you. These responses are effective because they are final and do not mark the person as untrustworthy.

Offer your help in other ways. Perhaps you could provide simple services such as meal preparation or babysitting. If the person is unemployed, you can offer to help them write their résumé or introduce them to professional contacts.

Stop the conversation if the person becomes manipulative or angry. Say, “It makes me uncomfortable. I place too much importance on our friendship/family relationships to continue discussing it. »

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Troy M. Hoffman