Economically speaking, we work hard because of money. And there’s a saying that “money may not buy happiness, but it’s better to cry in a Lamborghini.” So my point is that we need money to provide for our loved ones, necessities, education, health, wants, and even in helping others.
Some of my social media connections were randomly posting or sharing content about how they felt to people who owe them money a few months ago. And, I can see and feel that their emotions were strong, as some of them even used profane language to express their displeasure. They were apparently not paid as expected or promised (though I’m not sure what happened as of this writing because I no longer see updates from them).
I’ve had similar experiences, so I deeply understand their rage and pain. But, I believe that they can do better than venting their frustrations on social media. I want to help.
So, I recollected and decided to write this blog to give you an idea of how to forgive someone who owes you money, especially those who aren’t paying or responding appropriately.
How to Forgive Someone Who Owes You Money
A Quick Background Story
The worst experience I had was when someone from the same company I previously worked for got away with taking 35,000+ PHP (695+ USD) out of my pocket. I was a starter back then. I’m a young, naïve worker who earns enough to stand up on my own. Pay my bills and get a few fancy things or meals I would prefer.
I met this person, and we’re getting to know each other. He was a lovely young man who worked as a Quality Analyst. He came to me one day, asking for assistance because his father had become ill. He stated that his savings were insufficient to cover his father’s hospital bill (St. Luke’s Medical Center) and that he must raise funds to cover all expenses.
I told him I couldn’t lend him such large sums of money. So, he said, don’t be concerned because I can assist him by lending my ATM card and being his co-maker. Without a doubt, I agreed. I intend to help; mainly, it was a life and death situation. If I’m in his position and turned around him, knowing that it is his parent, I cannot bear in my conscience. So, we went to a loan company that accepts active ATM cards from employees and lends money accordingly. Aside from myself, there is another guy who will help him with additional funds.
He had his loan approved, and we were co-makers, and I had to surrender my ATM card to get a loan for him (same with the other guy). So we signed everything, got the money, and the two of us gave him all the cash we got. We wished him the best and his father’s fast recovery!
Days came, months came, the only cash I got from him as repayment was about 3,000 PHP (60 USD) which is not even part of the loan cash I gave him. The worst part, as he cut off all our communication, no longer appeared at work, and we can’t find him anywhere. Even the lending company can’t figure out where he was.
Since I was a co-maker of his loan and had to pay my loan (which I gave the money to him), I spent those months with my hard-earned salary. It took almost a year of sacrifices, over time, and many nights of crying and frustrations. On many occasions, I wanted to post my rage on social media. But I didn’t.
I took these five steps on forgiving someone who owes me a considerable amount of hard-earned money.
#1. Accept the Unacceptable
Forgiveness is a difficult process to go through. And to get started, we must accept the unacceptable. But how do you do it? First, take it in small doses. Then, remember that you are a part of it, whether you were duped or cheated. I realized I had agreed to help. You decided to help. As a result, the commitment to whatever the outcome is is automatically opened up even if it is unacceptable.
#2. Release the Negativity
Once you have accepted everything, the next thing to do is to release the negativity. The best medium to do this is to write. In my experience, I silently wrote all the bad feelings I felt during the process and the hardships I have gone through while paying all the settlements on paper. Then, I burnt the paper and had a mantra of forgetting all the pains I endure caused by that person.
I also wrote the best reasons I could think of why I helped him, regardless of whether or not what he told me was true. Then, I focused on my intention of helping.
Doing such allowed me to let go of all the pain inside my heart. It also helped me see the good things I never thought of during the process.
#3. Take it as an Opportunity to Learn and Grow
The next best step is to take the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. I thought about the life lessons it had taught me. I accepted my flaws, which led me to trust a person who has caused me so much financial trouble. I’ve learned so much from that person, and I’m grateful for it.
- Never trust anyone when it comes to money.
- Always do a background check before helping others financially.
- When helping someone financially, only assist them with what you can to not economically or emotionally harm you if they cannot repay you.
- When it comes to financial assistance, sometimes saying ‘no’ is the best thing you can do for them.
- Expect nothing in return when assisting someone, whether monetary or non-monetary.
- Consider it a nice treat for that person because they deserve it.
- Always be truthful, and let them know where you’re coming from.
- Money can reveal an individual’s personality and attitude, so be ready and don’t take it personally.
- Don’t put yourself in a trap by becoming a co-maker or lending valuable items to someone unless you are willing to let them go or pay all settlements on behalf of that person in the worst-case scenario.
- Always safeguard yourself when helping others.
Following that incident, I became more mature in my dealings. I also learned to be firm and direct when someone asks for financial assistance from me.
As a debtor, I learned the importance of repaying what I owed. I also borrowed money from some of my close friends during difficult times, and I’m grateful for how they helped me! They were patient with me regarding how I have settled my debts. And during the process, they never forced me to repay them.
I realized that when we show kindness to others, especially to our debtors, that kindness will return to us somehow.
The best way to speed up your healing is to have compassion for yourself and that person who owes you. We must not allow money to fill our hearts with rage, hatred, and pain. Because of mercy and compassion, give your forgiveness and forget.
Again, I understand that forgiveness is a complicated process. But, to counter it, pour love on it. You are a human with a heart and soul. We made mistakes, and some of those are helping people who we thought were deserving.
People make and choose bad decisions, and some of them are designed to deceive us. Some choose to flee rather than settle their debts; perhaps this is the best option they have at the time, even if it means jeopardizing their commitment or relationship with you.
We might not understand so many reasons, but we must always see the good in everything, even at the hardest. Always choose to forgive and forget. Give your compassion.
#5. Move Forward
Finally! Proceed with caution. Concentrate on the positives and how you can improve your financial situation. As I did, you may have lost a significant amount of money, but money can be consistently earned back through perseverance, determination, and hard work. Have the desire to fill that gap again, and never forget the lessons you learned along the way.
It is perfectly acceptable to file charges against the person for them to learn their lesson. However, don’t forget to forgive.
In my case, I, the lending company, and the other guy discussed things. But I choose to pay rather than go through some court battles when we don’t know his whereabouts. So instead of investing much of my time and effort in filing charges, I’d decided to settle everything that was in my name.
I was cleared and freed after nearly a year of paying off all of one’s debts. The benefit was that I was able to get my ATM card back and have a good-paying credit record with that loan company, and they told me that if I ever needed financial assistance, I should just let them know.
Helping others in terms of money could be very tricky and dangerous. But, never hesitate to help others, especially if they are genuinely in need. But then again, always safeguard yourself when helping. Expect the unexpected. And when the worst came, go and speak with the person directly instead of posting it on social media.
It is always preferable to speak directly to the person in question rather than ranting on social media. Speaking with them in person will allow you to learn more about their situation. In the worst-case scenario, begin the process I described. Free yourself from a broken commitment, pain, and rage. Allow yourself to let them go, forgive, and forget.
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