Do you have relatives who are always asking to borrow money from you?
Lending money is okay, if the borrower knows how to pay it back. But if they don’t then we oftentimes end up on the losing end, being the bad guy, if we remind them of their debt. This can also lead to more stress just thinking how you will say NO to them the next time they borrow money from you.
You have probably reached the point of not wanting to lend money to people. You are already at the verge of telling them so.
Then, what’s stopping you? It is probably the need to reciprocate, showing “debt of gratitude” or what we know as “utang na loob”, right?
Yes, your family and relatives may have had significant roles in helping you before, so now that you are the one who has a better position or situation in life, you want to show them your support. But inside, you are debating whether to help them or not.
To clear your mind, let me share with you some tips to help you decide:
PAYING BACK A “DEBT OF GRATITUDE” IS NOT MEANT TO LAST FOREVER
As Filipinos, we have this tradition that we need to ALWAYS pay back our debt of gratitude.
But it does not mean that are obligated to do so for the rest of our life. Traditions are good, but should not be abused. Paying back to show our gratitude to those who have helped us is commendable, but it also has limits and boundaries. Once this crosses the line to abuse, then it is a different story.
So, how can I tell if I am being taken advantage of? Simple. Are you stressed out? You don’t know what to say? Do you feel obligated to lend money to your relatives even if you do not have the meas to do so? If you are experiencing this, then it is time for you to step on the brakes. You need to end this illusion that paying back your debt of gratitude is forever, as long as you live, and that if you don’t you will end up being looked upon as ungrateful. These are all wrong thinking. As a matter of fact, if you continue to support their wrong lifestyle, they will not learn to become better in life on their own.
“I’m sure I don’t do that. I just want to help.”
NOT ALL FORM OF “HELP” IS ACTUALLY HELPFUL
Yes, instead of helping them, you may actually be putting them in harm’s way. You may be helping them fail in life. If you think you help them by always lending them money, then you are mistaken. If they get used to this kind of help, they become dependent on you. They will not work hard become they know that you will be around to help them, anyway. You are helping them by leading them into a life of financial bondage and overdependence on you.
The only ability they will develop is how to borrow money from you again the next time. So, do you think this is helpful? Are you content with your relatives being lazy and lacking the desire to work for their own because they can always count on you?
Extending help to those who need it is great. But once this “help” is all they rely on to get by in life, then this is the time to be brave and say the two-letter word that you may not be comfortable in saying. Say NO to your relatives. It may be the most helpful thing you can do for them.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
Know your boundaries, up to what point are you going to pay back your debt of gratitude.
When your relative crosses this boundary, and takes advantage of you, say NO.
Saying NO may be the most helpful thing that you can do for them.
If you want to know more money tips, please visit www.moneykit.com.ph.
(Chinkee Tan is a top Filipino motivational speaker, wealth and life coach whose goal is to inform, educate, motivate, and disturb. His vision is to help people become financially-literate and debt-free. For more info about Chinkee Tan, please visit his fan page at FB, Twitter and Instagram. Also follow VIBER PUBLIC CHAT GROUP search chinkee tan, and VISIONCHINKEE on You Tube for more news and encouragements.)