Could lending affect your friendship? 借錢會影響你的友誼嗎?

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有些人認為,朋友之間談錢傷感情。不論是借錢給朋友,還是向朋友借錢,都可能會影響兩人的友誼。這裡面到底有哪些風險?我們如何避免這些風險?本期 「隨身英語」 圍繞朋友間借錢的話題展開討論。

詞彙:borrowing money 借錢

Shakespeare once wrote: 『Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend’. It’s often paraphrased and used as a warning about the dangers of lending, and how you could risk a friendship through it. But why can lending money be so detrimental to our friendships?

If our friend or family member comes to us for hard cash, it can be very difficult to turn them away. You feel under pressure to help. And if that money doesn’t come back, it can lead to fights or even legal battles. So how can we, as the lender, avoid these complications? According to Bradley T. Klontz, an expert in financial psychology, there are some steps you can take.

Understanding why there is an inevitable risk to lending anything to a friend is the first thing. And it’s not just the risk of losing the money, but the friendship could also be in danger. This is because, psychologically speaking, the action of lending has changed the balance of power. The lender becomes superior, while the borrower may feel awkward with the new arrangement. Likewise, if you try to advise them on what to do with the money, it might make things difficult between you two. In other words, let go – and see it as their money.

And if you can’t afford to lend something, don’t. Saying 『no’ is hard when a friend comes asking, but if you need that money, denying them is probably the safest course of action. If you still feel the need to lend, making a legally binding agreement and putting things down in writing could guarantee instalments or deadlines. But, some friends may not take too kindly to being asked to make it official – seeing it as a lack of trust.

Finally, for some, it’s best to just see the money as a gift and be pleasantly surprised if something comes back. And if you do want to preserve your friendship, when you need to borrow some money, perhaps a bank is a better option.

詞彙表

borrower 借款人
lender 放款人
loan 借款
lend 借出
hard cash 現款,現金
turn someone away 拒絕某人
legal battle 官司
inevitable 不可避免的
superior (地位)更高的
awkward 難堪的,尷尬的
let go 放下(某事)
legally binding 具有法律約束力的
put something down in writing 付諸書面(文中指 「寫欠條」)
instalment (分期付款的)一期
deadline 最後期限
make something official 按正式程序辦事
borrow 借入

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What can a loan not being returned lead to?

2. What effect can lending money have on your position in a friendship?

3. According to the article, once you lend someone money, what advice should you give them?

4. What are the potential drawbacks of contracts?

5. With regards to some people, how should you 『see’ the money you have lent them?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. Rather than pay everything at the start, let’s pay in _______.

instalments                  let go                         deadline                    superior

2. I don’t feel very comfortable. It’s an _______ situation.

deadline                       awkward                    instalments               legal battles

3. She’ll be home late as she’s working to a tight _______.

superior                        inevitable                   let go                        deadline

4. Just relax and learn to _______ of your stress!

let go                            capital                        legal battles              awkward

5. The contract you sign will be _______.

instalments                   deadline                     superior                    legally binding

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What can a loan not being returned lead to?
If the money that was lent doesn’t come back, it can lead to fights or even legal battles.

2. What effect can lending money have on your position in a friendship?
The action can change the balance of power. The lender becomes superior, while the borrower may feel awkward with the new arrangement.

3. According to the article, once you lend someone money, what advice should you give them?
None! Don’t try to guide the borrower with what they do with the money – let go – and see it as their money. In other words, don’t interfere.

4. What are the potential drawbacks of contracts?
Some friends may not take too kindly to being asked to make it official – seeing it as a lack of trust.

5. With regards to some people, how should you 『see’ the money you have lent them?
Perhaps it’s best to just see the money as a gift and be pleasantly surprised if something comes back.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. Rather than pay everything at the start, let’s pay in instalments.

2. I don’t feel very comfortable. It’s an awkward situation.

3. She’ll be home late as she’s working to a tight deadline.

4. Just relax and learn to let go of your stress!

5. The contract you sign will be legally binding.