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Why money is toxic amongst friends

Money & Finance

Why money is toxic amongst friends

You can’t be sitting at home budgeting your friend’s money for your problems. This kind of thinking is why our diaspora relatives don’t speak to us.

Money answereth all things and one question it definitely provides a clear answer for is, “are these my real friends?” Money conversations are uncomfortable and they are one of the top reasons why relationships fail. What are some of the ways in which you can protect your friendships from being destroyed by money?

Don’t become a loanshark

A friend in need, is a friend in need of money. Life’s trials and tribulations are pricey. Funerals, retrenchments, divorces and any other transitions in life require emergency funds. Obviously, you will look to your besties for monetary assistance. Unpaid debts fester and corrode relations. The rule of thumb is, “never lend more than you are willing to give away.” If that amount would hurt you to be a bad debt written off, don’t loan it out. Save yourself the heartache and drama.

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When you’re the Mbinga of the group

The good book says in Proverbs, a rich man has many friends. It’s the same today. When you’re the rich friend it’s easy to develop the Saviour Complex and want to rescue everyone. What if you’re being exploited and these aren’t your genuine friends? I am not saying take a page out of the Nigerian movies and pretend to be poor to test who loves you for you. It would be fun though. You have to understand that people naturally resent the rich and dream of one day eating them. If a friend asks you for money and you decline, they won’t think it’s tied up in investments, they will think you are being stingy. Then the drama begins. If you are rich, don’t play with people who will resent every purchase that you make. Also, don’t use your money as some sort of power play in your friendships.

Let’s not talk pay slips

People can’t ruin what they don’t know. Try to keep your salary/wages close to your chest. Unless you want to end up in a secret competition with your “friends.” It’s great being the high earner but what if you aren’t? You should have no expectations or entitlement to your friend’s money. You can’t be sitting at home budgeting your friend’s money for your problems. This kind of thinking is why our diaspora relatives don’t speak to us. They think we want to fleece them.

Stay in your lane

I get it that you’d want to fake it, until you make it but to avoid being the next Anna Delvey, please find friends within your tax bracket. Imagine having to come up with excuses as to why you can’t be a bridesmaid to a destination wedding, or why you can’t attend the girls’ trip to the Maldives. Yes, you can declare upfront that you can’t afford it but do you want to be a charity case? What’s the point of the friendship if you have to sit out most of the fun stuff due to financial constraints? Don’t burrow yourself into debt for fleeting highs.

Is money the root of all frenemy origin stories?

Absolutely not. The lack of open and honest conversations is. When you don’t speak about issues, toxic thoughts fill the space with lies and wild imaginings. Let’s put it like this, how would you feel if someone that owes you money is living it up on Instagram and flaunting their new lavish purchases and yet there’s been no word on when they’re paying you back? The mind will assume they have money but what if they were gifted those things or they even shoplifted them? Full disclosure amongst friends about issues of money are required for the friendship to survive.

Can friends survive a money spat?

Yes. friends can survive the discomfort of a money squabble. It depends on the quality of the friendship. If your friendship gives into the pressures of money, were you friends to begin with? Vulnerability is the basis of any strong relationship between two people. In money matters, the lender usually cannot fully express their feelings about the money owed to them. These un-had conversations are the cancer that eats away at the friendship. When you don’t pay back the money you owe, this breaks the trust in the friendship. More often than not, the person you owe harbours unfriendly feelings towards you.

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It's your girl! Natively fluent in speaking hard facts. I'm from the City of Kings, born and bred njenge sinkwa! Well versed in women's issues ngazathi libhayibhili. Ang'so mngan' wakho!

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