- Gender and Relationships
Getting Rid of a Free Loader
Getting rid of free loaders in your life sometimes takes a little more than just saying “no” or telling them to pack their bags and move on. Most have been relying on the kindness of strangers their entire life and have made mooching into a fine art. What if the shoe was on the other foot? It’s doubtful anyone would let you live in their home for years and still have no job.
Once you know the situation isn’t going to change, the only answer is to confront the person and set a deadline for them to get out. Of course it should be reasonably sufficient for them to find another place to go…even if it’s a local homeless shelter. It might be wise to have the conditions set down on paper and have them sign and date it. It might not have any legal backing, but it will reinforce the point being made.
Then there is the inevitable cigarette beggar. One is never enough. They sometimes ask two, three, or more times daily. Usually, their kind benefactor finds it difficult to refuse. Quit smoking, or at least pretend to. So, there won’t be any visible cigarettes to bum.
We all know someone who fits the description, the one who always forgets their wallet when going out to dinner or someplace they know cash is likely to be needed. And let’s not forget the guy who always manages to skate out of their portion of work. Dealing with these kinds of people doesn’t have to be difficult, if one knows how. But, it will be necessary to establish certain boundaries in concrete. Anticipating beforehand when a moocher will strike is paramount.
For example, the one who conveniently forgets their wallet. Before leaving for the planned occasion, casually remind them they forgot it the last time. That way, they can’t use the same excuse again, short of claiming short term memory loss. In this event, turn the tables, mooch off of them with the same “I forgot my wallet” routine. Ask them for money, and see what happens. However, don’t wait until a financial disaster hits. They might leave you hanging high and dry. Then again the old phrase “I’m broke” usually works. Anyway, moochers often borrow money never intending to pay it back.
And what about the one who skates on chores? If they’re a roommate try putting up a bulletin board with a schedule defining who’s responsible for what chores and expenses. Cross off an item whenever someone completes their job and pays their part. It will become obvious who the moocher is.
Another common ploy of the professional moocher, is borrowing clothes and not returning them. For these pests all is needed is a gentle reminder, or informing them the piece in question will be needed for a certain event that day The moocher should know by then the jig is up…although, that won’t prevent them from making future acquisitions..
If there are mutual friends with the moocher, it would be wise to discuss the problem with them, using a little tact and diplomacy, of course. They may be in the same boat. A united, peaceful approach to a common problem might be arrived at.
In any case, be persistent in refusing, sometimes it takes time for these individuals to catch on…some are not the brightest bulb in the pack. If the problem still persists, but enjoy having the person as a friend, inform them of that, but are not appreciative of certain behaviors. However, if they are only being friends for personal gain, then they aren’t friends. It’s best to break off any further contact with them.