Lending Money Ruins Friendship


We all have been there: a friend borrows $10 from us but never seems to have the cash available to pay you back. Weeks and weeks later, he buys a fancy car and shows it off in front of us. He has probably forgotten that $10 but the friendship has been damaged.

By today’s standard, $10 is a small amount, but what if it were $100, $1,000 or even more? 

Based on my personal experience, leading money could ruin friends. When money is involved, everything will be complicated and sensitive. One might lose friends caused by money issue. It has occurred to my parents and me a couple of times.

About 15 years ago, my father lent half of our family’s property to one of his closest friends. Mom was concerned, but dad was so confident about their friendship that he didn’t even require an I.O.U.

Sadly, it ended up like Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. A loan to a friend resulted in the loss of both the friend and the money. Everytime Dad called him, he always said he would return the money as soon as possible. It’s been 15 years and we haven’t seen any penny back yet. If he made effort to return ¥100 every month, the load would be paid off this year. It’s obvious that he didn’t intend to pay us back.

When it comes to money, even if you have old ties or years of friendship, it’s all forgotten and disregarded.

My Dad lost money and a so-called ace buddy. Dad considered it as a big lesson in his life and he suggested I should think over before I lend or borrow money.

Nonetheless, I lent money to my best friend last year. It was a large amount that would take most new graduates half a year to earn. I lent it to her without question because I knew she would do the same for me if I needed her help. But to my disappointment, she didn’t return the money on schedule. I wasn’t mad about it because I understood that she might have trouble getting the money together.

What made me angry was that she didn’t say anything about it until I contacted her. We are friends. Why can’t we be honest with each other? I kept calling her and in the end, I got my money back.

So, why lending money ruins friendship? On one hand, we come to realize that we are actually giving money to them rather than lending it because they don’t have the intention to pay us back. Sometimes, we feel awkward to contact them to get the money back or we can’t be bothered knocking at their doors over and over. In this case, we lose the friends and our money.

On the other hand, we get the money back after a long process of nagging, complaining and harassing but we have already lost friends who don’t even understand why we are angry. Ironically, they are the ones who used to understand us the most.

It seems like lending money is one of the best ways to lose a friend and the money. If we lend the money, we will naturally chase our friend to get the money back; if we refuse to lend the cash, our friend will take it personally and the friendship is ruined. Actually, the friendship is ruined when a friend asks for money in the first place, regardless we lend the money or not. Therefore, my theory is that it’s better to have money back and lose a friend than losing both money and the friend.

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