Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

Would you help out a friend/family member if you thought you might be enabling them?

Asked by nikipedia (27327 points ) July 30th, 2012

Let’s say you have the following hypothetical situation: An old friend or non-immediate family member (cousin, aunt, uncle) calls you up and says they got fired unexpectedly for reasons that sound like their fault and can’t make rent 2 days from now. They ask to borrow rent money from you.

Let’s add in that this person had a drug problem many years ago, but as far as you know, that is all in the past.

Would you give them the money?

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15 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I would for the short term, but it would also involve a long conversation and questions as to their being clean and sober.

bkcunningham's avatar

No way. I’m a recovering enabler.

wonderingwhy's avatar

If I can afford to, sure. Though I might write the check to their rental company, and T’s & C’s may apply.

tranquilsea's avatar

I help them this once and see just how my help aided them. I’d make any decisions on future help depending on that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is sooooo hard to just say no. But I’ve done it.

Blackberry's avatar

From my experience: it really depends. If they’re a repeat offender: no. If their problems are new: yes.

I have some people in my family that are like this, and they’re definitely black sheep, unfortunately.

geeky_mama's avatar

When kids are involved..I’m a bit of a sucker. So, if they had young kids in the home I’d be more likely to help.

Like @wonderingwhy I would definitely put my own terms on it – like: “OK, tell me the address to remit the rent to, I’ll send a check to them for this month’s rent and then you can paint my porch swing & mow my lawn a couple times and we’ll be square, OK?”

We’ve helped out others from time to time and I’m in favor of doing stuff that is a tangible help for the kids (e.g. providing meals, school clothes & school supplies) even when the parents are making dumb choices (spending all their available cash on booze & cigarettes instead of food for the kids)...because while the parents might think: “Bonus! I can buy another carton!” ...at least their kids’ needs are still getting met. It’s not their fault if their parents are losers, y’know?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes. We took care of my great aunt for her last few years. Yes, she drank. She was the black sheep of her family. As far as we were concerned, she was family and needed to have assistance.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with the idea of writing a check to the landlord. If they act insulted, that may be a sign that what you are doing is exactly right. No cash to someone who hasn’t proved his/her reliability.

SpatzieLover's avatar

^Yep. We paid the electric bill directly and a portion of the rent directly to the Landlord. We’d also take her grocery shopping to make certain there was real food in her home.

SuperMouse's avatar

If I had the money and the person gave me a concrete date and plan for repayment I would probably do it. They would have one chance though. If the money wasn’t paid according to the terms of our agreement the party is over – never again.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Ideally? No. Realistically? It happens.

Shippy's avatar

We all make mistakes and that is what family and friends are for. But no not on a long term or recurring basis.

augustlan's avatar

If I could afford to lose the money, yes. (When I loan, I don’t necessarily expect the money back.) If not, no. Also, if it was a pattern, at some point I would stop helping them.

bkcunningham's avatar

This is an excellent little piece that explains enabling.

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