Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dil, Dosti, etc - When money enters the equation

The last couple of days have been tormenting, overwhelming and really disturbing to say the least. These days of disturbance led me to introspect and reflect on the relations that I have made and maintained through my life thus far.

To give a brief background, I asked one of my friends (best friend at one point in life) to return the money she had loaned from me on different occasions as it had been over ten years since it began. While I had written off that loan about three years back, I still felt the need to remind that person that the debt was still unpaid and I was still upset. What began then was a match of mudslinging which ended with me blocking that person from all channels of communication.

The last time I’d asked for my money back, she’d told me to manage my finances properly instead of spreading my hands. I was patient because she was carrying her first child then and I didn’t want the wrath to spill over to the unborn child.

In her last message which led to her being blocked, she had accused me of not being such a nice person who would keep mum if someone behaved the way she did. In short, she denied all that she had said and called me liar. She went on to say that she had to go through a tough decision during her second pregnancy because I had cursed her.

In the past, I had loaned two more friends, one of whom returned my money after giving me the same gyaan to manage my finances well. And well, the other person returned a hefty sum in such small parts that it was as good as trash to me. The second friend even lied to me of his wife not having a job while she actually did, and started returning my money only after I found out the truth and confronted/threatened him.

What I learnt from my mistakes are these 9 rules:

Rule No. 1: Never lend anyone money without having a clear discussion of when that would be returned.

Rule No. 2: Never keep mum if somebody crosses the line thinking that you’d end up ruining the relation. Quite honestly, the relation was ruined the moment that person crossed the line.

Rule No. 3: Never keep other’s need above yours or your family. Help only if you can afford to.

Rule No. 4: Watch out for signs. People with the intent to return the favour are quite grounded. They won’t spend on luxuries without paying back the previous debts.

Rule No. 5: It’s okay to grow out of friends/boy-friends/relations, don’t cling only to find yourself stranded. My biggest mistake in the first case was to cling while I grew out of her. Quite honestly, I had never even grown into her. It was more about clinging onto a phase of my life. And I paid for it with an affordable sum and scarring heartburn.

Rule No. 6: Listen to your family/close ones. While you might be blinded in the moment, your well-wishers may notice the signs. In all of the above cases including my former partner, my father had warned me absolutely blatantly. I had to burn my finger to learn my lessons.

Rule No. 7: Don’t lend. Don't borrow. Write the details if the need arises to do either.

Rule No. 8: Never ever disclose your salary even to your closest of friends. This was my biggest mistake. Every time I asked for my money back, from either of these individuals, they quoted my salary and remarked about how poor my finance skills were. - Make this the thumb rule.

Rule No. 9: Walk away when the damage is less. They who didn’t realise once, would never realise later. Conscience either exists or does not exist. There’s nothing in between. I kept adding to the previous debt hoping that the bigger sum would motivate her to pay back. Even got her an expensive dress with an agreement that either she’d pay back or return the dress. I got the dress back after following up for a year and a half. (Yes, I care about the dress. I am a woman.)

Last but not the least, never trust people who watch and like Ekta Kapoor kind of soap operas. They watch that crap and it gets into their head big time. <Experienced for real>

I have had my share of bitter experiences and still have been lucky to have friends who stood by me during hard times. Friends whose debt I’d never be able to pay back in cash or kind. I can only count my blessings and thank god for sparing me with only as much as I could afford.

There is no reason why one should survive suffocating or toxic relations. Watch out for the signs and bail out! In life we make plenty friends, some last a long time and some are lost in time. Cherish the happy moments but remember that the contribution in any relation has to be equal - Physically, emotionally, spiritually. You know it’s time to walk out when the proportions are distorted.


ranjan singh said...

Wise and smart rules... make life easier. When it comes to friends, before you decide to lend money or a book or anything else, you always hear a voice in your head telling you or warning you, he/she is not good with finances or taking proper care of your books or your stuff. So things should be done according to the kind of friend who is asking for help. And if someone asking for help is not humble than you know for sure they won't be humble at the time of returning your help!!

Bombshell Ideas by Kriti Vajpeyi said...

Yes, Ranjan, you're right! That voice was always there but I kept ignoring it until it was too late. I did take a long time to learn my lessons, but I hope that the learning is going to stay with me for life.

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