Why do I find it so hard to ask for money?
Asking people for money hits about #2 on my Pet Hates list… right behind going to the gynaecologist, and just before wet towels left on the bathroom floor and cats jumping up on kitchen bench tops. Actually scratch that – I’d rather go for a gyno appointment than have to ask someone for money they owe me! It is just me? Or do other people agonize over this one too?
Generally speaking, I have no problem having ‘difficult conversations’… conflict resolution, consumer complaints, complex or ugly social negotiations for the most part aren’t a problem. I have no issue returning a meal in a restaurant if it’s not to my liking. I have no trouble whatsoever with approaching a friend and diplomatically letting them know they have bad breath or need some deodorant! I am quite comfortable returning unwanted items to stores or handling poor service. I am frequently called on to act as an intermediary of sorts if things get a uncomfortable in our social circle to navigate potentially unpopular or unhappy situations.
In various professional capacities, I’ve never had trouble with the conversations that others sometimes find confronting… I once had to fire a work colleague, who was also a friend, and while I didn’t enjoy doing so, the conversation was just one of those things. I have no trouble whatsoever taking on the role of debt collector in a work capacity and if needs be, will happily threaten the discontinuation of necessary services if monies outstanding are not paid in a timely fashion. So I have no trouble asking for money on someone else’s behalf! I have never had trouble approaching my bosses about unsatisfactory work conditions or hours. I’ve had some of the most awkward conversations ever with my Uni professors and supervisors; most recently presenting one of them with evidence of their lying and bullying behaviour in front of their peers! I can deal with lawyers and barristers and members of parliament, and not feel out of my depth … but ask a friend for money they owe me?!? Eurck…
On the whole, I have a no nonsense, no bullshit, call it like it is, not exactly backwards about coming forward, sort of approach to life. So why is it, that if a friend owes me $20 for a meal out or for some groceries I picked up or whatever… I can’t for the life of me ask them for it without my guts churning? And the higher the $$ the more the churning of the guts. Though I know plenty of people who are crap at dealing with challenging conversations who have no problem whatsoever asking me for money??? Go figure!
If someone owes me money, I effectively find myself sitting around hoping they remember to pay me. And if they don’t, and the agreed time for repayment goes past, I eventually get down right pissed off that they put me in the awkward and undesirable position whereby I have to ask them for it. Even if I really need that money at the time, I find myself stewing on it getting more and more agitated until I invariably try to politely remind them. Even if that reminder takes the form of an innocuous and friendly text message or email… it literally makes me feel sick to the stomach to have to send it.
Shits. Me. To. Tears.