Friends without Money

Challenging Times reveal True Friendships

Do you feel uneasy or panic when you suggest a meal with a friend at a restaurant that you believe might be too pricey, or not pricey enough? Have you ever choose to feel slighted because a friend never invites you over to their home only to discover later that they were too embarrassed to have over to their home because they felt inadequate?

Do you choose friendships based on common income and spending habits?   Life Success Coach, Karen LaVoie, had advice for keeping our friends close.

 1. How comfortable are you when the social status (finances) of a friend has shifted “below” yours?  Are you sensitive to the other person’s new situation?  True friends are willing to be open and honest about their lives and that would include finances.  Yes, some of us were taught NEVER discuss our finances with others – taboo!  Right now is the best time to do some soul searching and see if you are judgmental of others based on their income.

Suggestion: Money is nothing without happiness.  A friend’s value should be based on everything but their money.  Take the time to share with them how much you VALUE their friendship.  When it comes time to go somewhere let them know your offer to treat is not a handout but a gift to yourself –the gift of their friendship and time!

2. How comfortable are you with your shift in financial status (lower)? Have you been hiding the truth?  Do you make up excuses as to why you are not available for outings like those that you used to expereince?  Are you avoiding returning calls to your friends? Are you avoiding going to function that you used to so you do not have to discuss your state of affairs?

Suggestion: Be open and honest with your friends and say, “Hey, temporally my finances are not as they used to be.  Avoid making this about you having a pity party; it is about you being honest.  When you are honest, the lie that you have been hiding is out of the closet and the tension goes away.  Your friends were sensing the tension and most likely did not know the cause and felt that you were angry with them thus, causing all kinds of “stories to be created”.  HONESTY is always the best policy.  A TRUE friend will be there to support you, not out of pity but out of friendship!  Invite them over and be happy and grateful for whatever it is that you have to offer them --know that it is YOUR friendship they value.  When they offer to treat, say thank you!  True friends have a saying, “I’d do it for you.”

3. Are you uncomfortable sharing with your friends that you are doing well in these economic times?  Do you feel it would make your friends feel bad?  Or jealous of you? Or resent you?

Suggestion: Why are you making a decision for your friends and one that is judgmental of you?  Would you be that way if the roles were reversed?  Do not assume you know the reactions your friends will have.  Tell them.  Let them have their own reactions.  A true friend will be happy for you and celebrate with you. Your good fortune gives them hope!  Take them out and celebrate or invite them over, give them the time of their life for a few hours so they can get their thoughts of their so-called woes.  BE A TRUE FRIEND.  Do you want to share your newly found fortune?  Silently make a partial payment on their electric or water bill.   That is easy!  We are called to AWAKE N as real friends; this is the blessings of this economic experience.

4. NEED HELP

Suggestion: The people out there are in a financial bind.  Ask for help from your friends, how can they help if you do not ask?  They most likely do not know how to offer.  I know people who are offering friends to move in with them until they get back on their feet. In addition, these are not people with big incomes and big homes.  These are true friends. I know people who are helping their neighbors find jobs or an extra source of income so they can stay in their home.  TRUE FRIENDS and UNEXPECTED FRIENDS are there when we most need them.

5. OFFER HELP.

Suggestion: Be a friend and ask, “How can I help?”  So many people are afraid to ask that question because they might not be able to help.  That used to be me.  Ask.  I have always been able to help if not me personally, I know someone who can or that person knows someone…

6. Is /are your friendships still strained after being a true friend? 

Suggestion: Then know that it is what it is.  Keep calling your friends.  Keep offering to meet up or invite them over for a movie …low cost.  Invite them for a picnic instead of lunch or dinner out.  Keep in mind “meet ups” that do not involve spending money and offer to pick them up so the cost of gas is not an “issue” they are not revealing.

Bottom-line, true friendships survive because deep down inside both of you want it to survive and thrive!  Be patient, understanding and most importantly HONEST. Share with your friends how you feel.  They might be just as afraid as YOU might and might be in the same financial boat as you.

I know when I am open and honest with my best friends it makes the friendship stronger and after the serious talk; we have a very heartwarming laugh.  Friends are more valuable than all the money in the world!  TREASURE THEM and BE THERE FOR THEM.

For more information from Life Success Coach Karen LaVoie click here.

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