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I live in a hostel. My roommate is very disturbing. This is because he doesn't pay back his loans on time. But he pretends to be a good person to everyone by maintaining a good appearance and smile.

He took a loan from me before and I was very disturbed that time to ask him to pay back the loan over and over again. He seems friendly when anyone talks with him. But when he takes a loan from anyone, he just plays hide and seek to them.

I want to avoid giving him any loans. How can I do that easily while I am living with him in the same room?

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I had such friends. They'd ask me and my other friends for money. So, I am writing what I did.

To avoid lending him money, you might wanna discuss about this.

First of all, do not overreact when your roommate asks for money. I did it once and it resulted in broken friendship. Give it a moment and then ask this in a polite manner.

Hey, I don't want any tensions between us. So, I hope we could talk about you borrowing money.

Before asking this question, think about how you want to talk and also how you'd like to be treated if you were at his/her place. In this way, you can come up with more polite and possibly effective way to talk about this.

Now, you want to select a right place and right time to have this conversation. Make sure you have this conversation in private, so your friend doesn't feel embarrassed. You might also wanna avoid talking about this when you or your friend is in hurry.

While you're discussing, try to stay on topic. If your friend might react defensively and talk about his issues, show him that you're listening, but try to talk about this specific issue first. Say something like,

I see you've some issues and need money. I'm open to hearing about that, but before we talk about it, I wanted to make sure we're clear about lending money.

During this conversation, try to convey your feelings as well. Like, say that you're also in need of money and can't lend him any.

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He seems friendly [...] but when he takes a loan, he just plays hide and seek to them.

This looks like someone only motivated by money and interested in getting money. As you said, you got a hard time getting your money back, asking multiple times.

Ask yourself how you would feel and (re)act if you borrow a book/movie from a friend, then damage it beyond repair or lose it ? Would you excuse yourself, and buy it back, or hide and seek ?

I want to avoid giving him any loans.

Just say : NO. No need to argue, no need to explain, no need to be rude. It's your money, it's your decision. Just make sure you pick the appropriate moment to tell him, if you can (delay the answer for a couple of days, if needed). Don't put yourself in a situation that makes you more uncomfortable after (try and get your money back) than before (say no, and don't lend the money).

Nevertheless, if you still wish to explain why you don't want, I would just say I need the money for myself (this is actually true, as you work to make a living), and can't afford to share/loan.

I would not go into stuff like: but I had to fight to get my money back last time or but you didn't give the money back to X last time, and just play hide and seek with her/him now. Endless arguing...

As my ol'man used to say : You lend money, you lose a friend. If your really want to help him out, give what you want/can, but don't ask it back, and don't expect it back....

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  • Answers should be more than suggestions. Explain why your advice is worth following.
    – user288
    Aug 10 '17 at 9:48
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    @Hamlet : more than what's explained ?! Avoid arguments, avoid losing money, avoid wasting good relationship ? This is what OP asked and based upon own experience....
    – OldPadawan
    Aug 10 '17 at 10:04
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There's a track record. Use that.

I had this problem with a relative once, and I said something like this:

Last time you borrowed money from me it took way longer than we agreed for you to pay it back. It put me in the position of having to nag you, which created tension for both of us. Our relationship is too important to have that kind of tension and resentment, so no I can't lend you money this time.

By talking about the past delays and the effects it had on you, you convey that it's better for both of you to not get into that situation again. It also leaves open the possibility that he could change your answer in the future by fixing his behavior -- if the track record is no longer so negative, you might be more open to lending. Even if you personally aren't, if he improves that he might find it easier to borrow in general.

I don't know where this comes from, but I long ago learned a "formula" for giving negative feedback like this to people you're close to: "when you do X I feel Y". This approach lets you talk about effects -- the Y -- rather than just the behavior (X). What I said here is a modified form of that approach.

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