What should you say when your friend is going through serious financial problems? Should you scold your friend? Should you sympathize or start talking about a different subject?
It is very important to respond properly so as to avoid trivializing your friend's problem. Financial experts suggest 5 things you must not say to your friend, especially when he discusses about his financial problems with you.
1. Never utter: "You must not have splurged"
Try to not point out the obvious thing. Other than that, it may be the case that your friend is in financial problems not because of his spending habits. Don't draw up any conclusion too soon. Just because your friend purchased a big house, it doesn't mean that he splurges.
It might be the case that he used to make regular payments on mortgage. Situation might have become difficult after he lost his job.
2. Never utter: "You must have learned a good lesson"
Your friend is already facing a tough time. Don't add salt to his injury by making this comment. Don't be cruel. Your friend has come to you to share his grief and sorrow. Don't increase his guilt by pointing out his mistake in open. Even if you know that your friend has committed a terrible mistake, don't scold him because of that. It won't do any good to your friend.
If you can resist saying something you'll regret later, then keep mum. Don't utter a single word. Tell your friend that you understand his situation and hope that he'll never be in a similar situation again.
3. Never utter: "My full sympathy is with you"
Your friend has come to you for support and friendship, not for your sympathy. Don't show your pity or sympathy towards your friend. He will become sad and dejected.&
Try to boost the confidence of your friend. Tell him that he can come out of this situation. State that he has the potentiality and courage to solve his financial problems. Make positive remarks so that your friend gets the strength and courage to fight his financial battle.
4. Never utter: "Jesus Christ! The rain may come down anytime"
When your friend comes to you and relates his financial owe, he genuinely needs help. Don't increase his distress by changing the subject altogether. Don't shut him out just because you're uncomfortable in talking about his financial problems.
Ask your friend to reveal the complete story to you. A kind heart and eagerness to listen may be of great value to your friend. If your friend is telling something to you, then it means that he wants to speak out his heart. Listen to his owe rather than running away. You won't lose anything by just listening to what he says. On the other hand, your friend may feel better by pouring his heart out.
5. Never utter: "I completely understand your situation" when you don't
Don't even try to empathize with a person's situation when you don't understand anything. If you haven't faced a similar situation, then don't pretend that you can fathom everything. For instance: if your friend is filing bankruptcy and you haven't ever been bankrupt, then there is no point in acting like you know how it feels to go through the legal debt relief process.
You can say that you're sorry to hear his problem. Ask different types of questions to him if you can't give any solution to his problem. Make a sincere attempt to understand his situation in the least.
Finally, never say "lets go for a drink" to your friend when he is not in a good mental and financial state. When your friend is trying his best to have a roof above his head, don't ask him to spend more money on drinks and dinner. Invite him in your house and talk about his problem while having a homely meal.