I have no shortage of stories about my family, and I read Leslie’s post a long time back about not giving $300 to her father for a car (cutting him off, essentially) which sparked this post.
Incidentally, a commenter left a rather pointed remark about how we were all “whiny millennialists who have money to travel and shop, but not to help family members“.
My reply was equal in tone:
Having parents who are just like this, I can tell you that you don’t see the whole picture and to judge someone based on a single post like this without knowing their past is just as ignorant as your comment.
A parent who lies to you and says they need $1000 a month for gas (yes, JUST for gas) to get money out of you is someone whom you cannot trust.
I worked hard for my money.
I don’t mind helping my parents, provided that they too, know how to manage their own money and don’t come to me asking for cash like I’m some free flowing ATM.
I haven’t asked money from my parents since I was 19 and moved out on my own, so pardon me if I take offence to calling others “whiny millennialists” who have money to spend on traveling clothes and crap but can’t help family members.
Sometimes you can’t help them.
Just as a parent who has to stop enabling their lazy bum children and cut them off from coming back to suck at their financial teats, sometimes children have to play that role in reverse and cut their parents off.
There comes a point where you have to say no when they ask you for $20,000 to go on some luxury vacation around the world on that hard earned money that you worked hard to maintain and manage after paying off $60,000 in student loans.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them and always will because we are related by blood, but they do things that make me want to strongly break the relationship and never talk to them again, particularly with my father.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
With my father, it gotten to the point where I decided I will not help him if he is in trouble.
No, this is not a plea for you to try and change my mind.
Family or not, blood or not, I’ve decided that he is the one who has ruined the relationship because of money and he and I will never be the same again.
People who really love you and are your true family, don’t necessarily have to be related to you by blood. BF and his family really loves me, and we are not related by blood.
My friends love me, and we are not related by blood. He has since changed his tune after talking to my mother and realized he could very well lose me forever (I am as stubborn as a mule just they are), but I am not budging.
He killed the relationship we had, and he will bear that burden up until his dying breath. My brother told me that in the future I might change my mind because as he put it: As I got older, I realized the importance of family.
He is a bit softer however, and more kind-hearted than I am, and in many ways I consider him to be the true father figure in my family who has helped all of us in any way he could, not my father.
What was all of this fight over anyway?
He wanted money.
Actually, more specifically, he wanted dole or tribute money each month even though he doesn’t need it.
The stupidest thing to fight over is MONEY especially since he doesn’t even bloody need it.
Everything in his life is paid for 100%, except for his gambling habit which he supports by trying to be cheap and cutting corners on buying near-rotten groceries to feed him and my mother with.
I would give him said money if he had acted like a real, caring parent and father even if he was poor and could not have helped me much but did the best he could, but he has proven with his repeated actions to not be trustworthy and selfish.
Even my generous mother who has the heart of a saint, has admitted many times that he thinks of no one but himself. He is just selfish, and that’s it.
Still, he is my father and there’s no denying I have his genes and profited well from most of them (I could have done without the bad ones like eczema and horrible eyesight), but I am under no illusions that he will turn into the ideal father overnight.
You are what you are.
Anyway, the whole point of this story is not to have anyone change me mind or feel sorry for me or my father (or both!), it is to tell you how I deal with saying “No” to parasites, especially ones I am related to,
I just thought you needed a background on my “experience” with blood-related parasites.
HOW TO SAY NO TO PARASITIC FAMILY MEMBERS
Here are a few possibly similar scenarios you can read over:
Some family members might not ask for anything directly but will HINT, like:
“You know, it would be nice if I had a faster computer.”
Don’t try and fix their computer or help them clean it up to make it go faster, just ignore them and don’t help them.
Don’t take the bait which will then lead to them hinting even harder and slowly trapping you into a false sense of obligation to help them out because you are better off.
Don’t forget that you are “better off” financially (mostly because you work and they don’t, which is why they don’t have money.
They’re parasites after all.
THE “OH THIS IS JUST A ONE-OFF REQUEST” TRICK
Other family members might just say: “I need X amount of money for food/gas/some essential crap, can you lend it to me?”
Once you open the floodgates of lending to a known parasite, they will mark you as a source of income in the future and continually badger you until you break and give in.
The more you give parasites, they more they want.
They don’t see it as stealing or begging, they see it as their RIGHT that you give them money, and if you can afford to give them money once, you can afford to do it your entire life.
Don’t give them anything at all. If you give them anything, assume the money is lost, and don’t waste your breath asking for it back, it will just make you annoyed and frustrated because it was your own doing (dare I say, naivety?).
ONLY GIVE MONEY TO THOSE YOU TRUST
Only give money to people you trust will do the right thing to give you the money back.
You know deep down inside who these people are because they have demonstrated time and time again how generous and giving they are, and you will have absolutely no doubts in your mind that they will NOT forget the debt and pay you back.
A good test I use is if I were to ask someone for money, and if they were to give me the money without hesitation, it is someone I trust, because they trust ME to give the money back without “forgetting” about it.
Otherwise, keep your pocketbook close to your chest.
I also freely give money to people but if I have to hassle and ask for it back from them, I never lend them money again.
It means that they don’t care.
BUT WHAT IF I GAVE MONEY WITHOUT KNOWING THIS?
Alternatively, if you do end up giving money to parasites without knowing it, and they don’t give you the money back or even mention it again, just assume that you learned your financial lesson (hopefully inexpensively), and it was worth that $5 – $500 you lent them to learn that you should never, ever trust them again in your life, even if they are crying wolf to you over the phone with crocodile tears.
WHAT DO I SAY TO SAY “NO” TO THEM?
Quite simply, “No”, works very effectively. You don’t need to explain yourself if you don’t want to. The answer is “No”. Other ways you can say it:
- I don’t have the money.
- I can’t afford that.
- I’m sorry, but no.
Don’t say things like: “I WISH I could but I can’t“, because you’re just going to leave that door open for them to re-ask for money in the future.
Don’t give them false hope.
Cut them off at the pass.
WHAT IF THEY TRY AND GUILT ME INTO GIVING THE MONEY?
My father is the perfect parasite for this. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been told:
“I’m your father.”
“You’re so much richer, you can afford to help me.”
“You sponged off me for so long since birth.”
“You owe me.”
“What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you want to help me?”
“I sacrificed so much for you.”
“Why are you being such a f*cking bitch?”
— True story, believe it or not.
I’ve been called plenty of names and sworn at, which is absolutely taboo and crosses the line in my family, which culminated in my not wanting to have anything to do with him. This should only incense you farther and make you NOT want to open your wallet at all to these parasites.
Don’t try and fight an idiot with his own logic because he’ll just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience (credit: Mark Twain).
You just have to keep repeating “No I don’t have the money“, and they’ll eventually give up because they’re talking to a blank wall.
Or just ignore them.
Don’t respond. I do this a lot and it works well with me.
They get annoyed that you’re ignoring them which makes them angrier, frothier at the mouth and less logical.
Besides.. at the end of the day, you’re the one in control of your own money, so don’t send it if you don’t want to.