When Friendships Get Tested

Law 10

Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and  Unlucky

You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as
infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are
only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune
on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and
fortunate instead.

Recently I was faced with a tough decision. I have a buddy who since I’ve known him(about a year) always had some sort of financial troubles. It seems no matter what he can’t get ahead. Basically he called saying he was about to be evicted because he couldn’t keep up with child support payments and rent, also his job cut his hours. He wanted to live with me for 3 months because hours would be picking up than and he also would be getting a settlement from a lawsuit

Now I’ve been in a similar situation before, and at the time It made sense because I didn’t have a job and my buddy who lived with me at the time  helped me out with rent. However people get comfortable and tend to overstay their welcome. My buddy long story short ended up moving his girl in with me as well as disrespecting my place in other ways that I won’t get into. While I didn’t appreciate the b.s. after he moved out, the resentment of him living with was gone. They’re certain friends I got, they’re fun to hang with. However I  have to be careful. They always tend to be in situations were they need help. They always don’t have money but yet you seem them wearing the latest fashions and also in VIP at the club, you give them a speck they take an inch, you give them an inch they take a foot and so on.

On another note they’re some friends who don’t care about your situation, not because they’re bad friends but because they lack empathy. These friends may not understand nor care why you can’t afford that trip to Miami or whats going on in your life.

Over the years, I have been approached by a fair number of panhandlers, especially at places of travel, and they’ve all had one story or another. I tend to listen patiently and then say I can’t help them and keep walking. More than once it’s occurred to me that the possibility – but not the certainty – exists that at least one of them has been telling the truth, and really did just need money to get home after being mugged. But honestly, that doesn’t change how I would deal with them when they approach me.

My point is that there certainly exists the chance that your friend is one of those rare few who would ask to crash on your couch just for a week or two and then actually do it, but it’s about the same as the chance that a random panhandler really was mugged and just wants to get home to their nice cozy apartment. In other words, so close to zero as makes no difference.

Look, people like this, they get by this way. Whether they realize they’re doing it or not, they take advantage of the guilt and good nature of others. I’ve seen this happen enough times that I can guarantee the following: If you allow him to stay on your couch for two weeks, it will turn into a month, and a month will turn into several, and each time the deadline approaches he’ll have a seemingly convincing reason why you shouldn’t kick him out.

I’m not saying your friend’s a bad guy. Like I said, he may or may not even realize he’s doing it. But you’ve described a clear pattern of running away from responsibility and relying on others to be his safety net. Being a struggling artist is tough, but the dude needs a day job, or a degree to fall back on. If he’s in his early thirties and his life is an endless parade of repossessions and evictions, then honestly he needs to learn this lesson as soon as possible. If you help him escape the consequences of his behavior patterns yet again, you’re only allowing him to avoid growing up, and he needs to grow up. Being mad at you for not unconditionally allowing him access to the home (and, I assume, food and whatnot) that you and your fiancee have worked for – this suggests that he views his misfortune as everyone’s problem but his own. If you want to help, then don’t be a party to it. I know it’s hard, and he may even throw a huge fit because of it, but it doesn’t mean you’re being a bad friend. It means, again, that he needs to grow up. There is really nothing else going on here but that.-Famous Monster


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