THE BLOG
12/24/2010 08:17 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

When friends are "banking" on your friendship

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

Our best friends, who have no money, wanted to go into business with us. They asked us for a large sum to open an immersion preschool-3rd grade and we said no, opening a school did not interest us. We both have kids who need special care and ours was in their daycare until recently.

We moved away and I started looking into all sorts of businesses and decided a year later to open my own commercial daycare, NOT immersion, and a totally different business model in that we'd work with art and very young children in a nursery setting. We live in different towns.

They are accusing us of stealing their ideas, abusing them, and lying to them and they want money from us to resolve things. We have some shared friends, all of whom I have introduced to them, not the other way around, and our friends' kids are in their daycare. We even have an upcoming event we have to be at together, which a dear friend of mine is organizing, and her child is in their daycare.

How do we move forward out of this quagmire (we will never be friends with these people again as all they ever want from us, it is now clear, is money) and still enjoy our old friends without involving them in this mess?

Thanks,
Carly



ANSWER

Dear Carly,

First, pat yourself on the back for not getting involved in a business deal with these friends. Clearly, you can no longer be friends with this couple who think you owe them something. You just need to move on.

It may feel awkward but act cordially (yet distant) to this couple when you see them. Restrain yourself from bad-mouthing them to mutual friends. Although events planned by others may bring you in contact with this couple again, try to minimize these situations and maintain connections with other friends who don't see dollar signs written all over you.

If they persist in asking for money, you may want to consult with an attorney who could write a letter for you asking them to stop.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Irene

Other recent posts on The Friendship Blog about friendships and money:

Friendships and Money: Minimizing losses
Friends who live high on the hog

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