It can be difficult dealing with a friend who struggles financially, simply because we don’t like to see our loved ones at a low point. We automatically want to help, but this assistance isn’t always welcomed.
Many people hate asking for financial help. They feel embarrassed or humiliated. As their friend, you don’t see things that way, but it can be challenging offering help without causing a rift in the relationship. Below, we’ve compiled a few things you can do to help a friend in need without creating drama.
1. Give Anonymously
Making cash money loans can complicate the relationship between even the closest of friends, so you should avoid it if you can. If you want to make sure your friend is getting what they need without rippling the waters of your friendship, give what you can anonymously with no expectation of repayment.
Have groceries delivered to their home, send an inspirational card with cash in the mail, and if the problem is big, organize others to help. Because your friend won’t know who gave what, there’s no reason for them to feel like they owe anyone anything.
2. Keep It Simple
If your friend is turning down opportunities because they don’t have the money it would take to join in, you have three choices:
- Let them do their thing
- Dial back what you’re doing to ensure your friend can take part
- Ask them to join in – your treat
Whichever option you choose, be sure to avoid making a big deal of it. The last thing they need is to feel like they’re a bad friend, a burden, or like they’re always going to owe you.
3. Be Cool About Giving
Friends help each other out. That’s one of many key aspects to developing strong and lasting relationships. So, if you want to help your friend with food, clothing, or other essentials, just do it. Pack a bag with some things and head over for a visit. Drink some coffee, chat a while, and present them with the bag without making a big deal of it. If your friend objects or tries to pay you for the stuff, just tell them they can get you back in the future or remind them of a time they helped you out.
4. Invite Them Over for Dinner
This is the easiest way to make sure your friend’s needs are met without making them feel embarrassed about needing help. Not only are you helping, but you’re also fostering a deeper, closer relationship by spending time together. Making this a regular practice while your friend attempts to get back on their feet will give them something to depend on that can greatly help financially and emotionally.
5. Don’t Demand Gratitude
Helping a friend in need can make you feel great, but it can make them feel humbled and even humiliated, like they can’t be trusted to care for themselves. While they likely feel a sense of relief with your assistance, your friend may not be able to express their gratitude amongst the flood of emotions that come with financial hardship.
If you want to help your struggling friend, do so with no strings attached and without any expectation of gratitude. If they say “thank you” right away, great. If they never say, “thank you,” that’s okay, too, as just knowing you helped should be thanks enough.
Helping a financially struggling friend can be a touchy subject as no-one likes to feel like they can’t fend for themselves. If you’d like to help a friend in need without creating drama, try the tips listed above.