How will you say no to me?

by Manshu on July 8, 2009

in Opinion

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Last week, I asked you, if you’d lend me money, and the overwhelming response was Absolutely Not. (If you haven’t read that post, click here)

Mark and Dividend Tree came back with a loud thundering NO. Ancella and Tip Guy said they will lend me some money, and Mayank had another credit card scheme for me. Not one person gave me a loving embrace and told me that they would lend me every last penny they had.

The interesting part is that this question was based on a friend’s real life situation.

When he was approached for a loan, he was sure that he is not going to loan out any money. The chances of repayment looked bleak, and what with the recession and everything, he figured he might need the money himself.

Yet, in the end, he ended up loaning out about half the sum.

Why – because he couldn’t say no. That’s it, plain and simple, he couldn’t say no. He may need the money, he doesn’t think it is going to come back to him, but he couldn’t say no.

That’s a problem a lot of us face; we just can’t bring ourselves to say no. If you Google up “how to say no” – you will find 184 million helpful responses.

Google will even suggest that you search for the more relevant – “how to say no without feeling guilty” (because that’s what you are really looking for) and once you do that, it will present you with slightly less than a million results.

All this makes me think that there are a lot of people who are troubled by the prospect of saying no. And also, that a lot of people have faced such situations and have devised their own ways to deal with it.

By now, I am sure you know what the question of the day is, but I have to ask, so here goes:

How will you say no to me?

Will you be direct and tell me that you are not going to lend me money because I don’t stand a chance to repay you? Or will you be tactful and not so direct, and present me with a credible excuse for not lending?

Photo Credit: Nathangibbs

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

The Incidental Economist July 8, 2009 at 6:42 am

I have a charity budget and that’s what I “give away.” Your share would be very small. You’re welcome to it but the transaction costs are not worth it.

That’s the problem. Microlending doesn’t scale down well due to transaction costs. If it did, I’d shoot you $0.05 in a second. Already I’ve “spent” that much in time replying.

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Ancella July 8, 2009 at 6:50 am

I don’t think I will be able to say “no” directly to you. Most likely what I will end up doing is giving you some 300 to 500 $ and telling you that this is all I can spare as I need cash (for some various reasons) and with the bad economy and all…don’t want to take any chances.

But yes, this ‘loan’ would be more out of the fact that I would feel too bad or guilty about turning my back on you when you are in need. Once given, i would have my fingers crossed that I would see this money again πŸ™‚

You are right.. saying ‘no’ is a huge problem (at least with me) and I find myself dragged into unecesssary stuff just because of it. In this case, I would feel alright as I did give you some cash (it would at least help you in some expenses) but I draw the line at that amount. So there is no cause to feel guilty about it, too.

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Mark Wolfinger July 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

It’s the Internet that allows me to brush you off.

If it’s real life, it’s a much more difficult situation. But, If I value your friendship, I had better tell you ‘no.’ and stick to it.

“For loan oft loses both itself and friend” is the appropriate Shakespeare quote.

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Manshu July 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm

@TIE: Your five cents may end up offending your friend rather than offer and aggravate the situation πŸ™‚

@Ancella: That’s a good compromise πŸ™‚

@Mark: Awesome quote!

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The Incidental Economist July 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

@Manshu – Who is this friend? I thought it was you: somebody I really don’t know and who doesn’t really know me. If we’re talking about a different friend then it might be more than 5 cents.

I think the best way to give a loan to a friend is to not expect it to be paid back. If that bothers the lender in any way then (s)he should probably not make the loan. Then (s)he should consider whether this person is really a friend.

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Manshu July 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm

@TIE Oh, no that is just the way the question is drafted, I really didn’t work in a govt. college for 25 years πŸ˜‰ It was more to do with loaning out to a friend

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The Incidental Economist July 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm

@Manshu – I see. I’m glad you’re not in dire straits! Nevertheless, I think it is most honest to give a friend what you don’t expect to receive back. If (s)he doesn’t pay you back you can decide then whether or not (s)he is still your friend. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

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Manshu July 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

That’s another great quote on this post. Thanks to you and Mark!

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Atul August 21, 2009 at 3:58 am

People who often couldn’t say no mostly lose good friends. It’s my personal experience. Money makes you differentiate between time and your condition.
Both need it but couldn’t ask a payback no matter how much he is in loss.

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