Caught in the middle of the RICH and POOR Relatives

Australia
July 11, 2010 7:35am CST
More often than not,my mother (when she was still alive) used to get into a lot of trouble everytime a "poor" relative (financially destitute, to put it gently)asked her for contact information of some of the "richer" relatives (financially blessed). Turned out many times that the "poor" ones only borrowed or asked financial help without paying back as promised. Sometimes not even a simple "thank you". Once they got what they wanted, they disappeared into oblivion. NEVER TO BE HEARD AGAIN! Or sometimes acting like they had amnesia over the debt. The bitter part was, all raving mad "rich" relatives then pointed their fingers at my mom for giving out their contact infos. But what was she supposed to do? She couldn't turn her back on some few "poor" relatives' requests? The most bitter part now is, since my mom died, they're turning to me! Help?
4 people like this
16 responses
@doveyml (34)
• United States
11 Jul 10
Money is a sensative issue for most people. It is sad that your family puts you in the middle. There are two options you could... give out the information and when the family begins to yell at you, say "You could of always said no. I gave out the information for the same reason you gave the money. Because I love that person and I wanted to help." The second option is tell the person that is looking for the contact information "That relative has asked that I not give out his contact information." And if you feel guilty, you could always point them to the internet which is free in most public libraries and you will have the comfort of knowing at least they a did a little work for the money.
1 person likes this
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Right, I should learn to stay away from being the middle man and get caught in the crossfire in the future. Good suggestion. I'll remember that.
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
11 Jul 10
I don't understand why the "rich" relatives would blame your Mom. She only gave out the contact info. It was the "rich" relative who said YES...here's the money you need. I see it as THEY are at fault. If I learned one thing in life it is do NOT loan money...especially to relatives..unless you've got it to just GIVE AWAY!!! Most people who borrow money wouldn't need to borrow if they were good with handling their finances. If they don't have the money now, how are they going to pay you back??? Now, to your question. You saw firsthand the problems your Mom had with this situation. The "rich" relative has expressed their desire to NOT have their information given out & that should be honored If the "poor" relative doesn't have the "rich" relative contact info, they aren't very close to begin with!!! I think the way I'd handle it is to say... This relative has requested I not give out their info to anyone, so I can't betray their confidence. I will be happy to give them YOUR contact info & have them contact you. Then do just that. Give the "rich" relative the contact info of the "poor" one & say they would like to speak with you. I wouldn't even mention the borrow money aspect. Then when the "poor" contacts you again to complain the "rich" hasn't contacted them, just say I gave them your info. I cannot make them contact you. STAY OUT OF THE MIDDLE!!!
• Australia
12 Jul 10
I think the reason why they ended up blaming my mom was because they trusted that whoever my mom brought to them was trustworthy and dependable. They paid my mom so much respect so that when things went wrong, they then blamed my mom for it. I have heard many stories before where my mom was always the one being blamed for this and that. She was very kindhearted and made sure that the needy got the attention they needed. Or when the rich ones asked her a favor, she always did all that she could to comply only to be blamed in the end again for a failed business, or being swindled by another person...My mom was placed in many awkward situations because of being a middle person. And I would never wanna be in that same place.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
And by the way, your suggestion sounded really helpful. Yes, I can try that. Thanks
• Philippines
11 Jul 10
Hello Theresaaiza, this reminds me of our situation in Pangasinan, where the some of the relatives from my mother side only wants money and not doing a damn thing about it. the one person they blamed is my mothers old maid because they always request her to go here and help the cleaning. Don't let them get to you, prove to them that you're not selling out information of your so called Rich relatives. then, probably don't ask anything from them either,show them you're not giving out info. or just tell them to bug off and leave you alone. it's not your fault.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Not so easy to tell an old grandmother, or a very close aunt to just buzz off you know. So sometimes, you just can't do anything about it. Perhaps just let the reprimands from the well-off people to enter one ear and exit the other.
• Australia
13 Jul 10
Yes that is right. It's sad seeing some relationships turn into disasters just all because of financial disputes
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
20 Jul 10
First of all, if some ragtag relative who never talks to me, turns to me for money I say no. If it's someone who converses with me as in an on going friendship then yes. We have helped people, friends, relative or not. But no one whom we don't enjoy time with. So your mom isn't to blame. Its the gutless wonders who borrowed their money to, essentially strangers.
• Australia
20 Jul 10
some of those who approached us were close to us. Until they blew the trust we had on them.
@dawnald (84126)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Jul 10
It's not your mom's fault that: 1. the rich relatives didn't say NO 2. the poor relatives didn't pay them back What do you do? Turn off the phone...
• Australia
20 Jul 10
I think I can manage to do that.
@sikat101 (149)
• Philippines
12 Jul 10
Just refuse them politely. Say that you need to pay your bills or something. Money matters are sensitive issues. I always follow two rules: "Do not lend it if you can't afford to lose it" and " Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".
• Australia
19 Jul 10
Well they didn't borrow money from me directly. They made my mom a bridge to the rich relatives so that they can borrow money from them. I have nothing to lend them anyway because I too am one of the poor relatives.
@zandi458 (27954)
• Malaysia
12 Jul 10
I think it took a lot of courage for your poor relatives to go knocking at your door to ask for assistance probably just to have a meal on the table. They did not want to be poor but circumstances lead them to such a pathetic situation and their only option is to seek help from their well to do relatives. If you are in the position to help, you should by all means help them out but not to the extend of them depending on you for their survival. They should look for employment or do farming to make ends meet.
• Australia
13 Jul 10
I really pity them, in all honesty. That's why I try to help out as much as possible. I also understand why they resort to such measures out of despair. But it's also hurting for our part to be the middle people and always get entangled in the mess which we didn't choose to be in.
@dfhonline (130)
• Philippines
12 Jul 10
I think that happened to me (to my family) a couple of times. I just lie, and tell them I havent heard from our rich relatives or something like I lost contact with them. You should learn to say NO. Same goes for your rich relatives. They are your relatives but they are not your responsibility. If your rich relatives would like to help whole-heartedly, they should never expect anything in return. If they dont think that the poor relatives are worthy of their help then they should just say NO. As for the poor relatives, they should be thankful for any kind of help. And if ever no one help them, they shouldnt hold grudge on anybody. Why dont they just help their selves.
• Australia
13 Jul 10
Yes you are right. I wish all the people involved can read your response. The clan would be a better place to live in.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
12 Jul 10
You know what I would do? I would just claim that I have no knowledge of the contact details of my rich relatives so that if ever your poor relatives decide to run away from their debts, you will not be involved. I have always distanced myself from my relatives and I don't believe in asking favors from any of them. That's why they know that I can live without them and they are the ones doing things for me so that they will endear themselves to me.
• Australia
13 Jul 10
That would be a bit hard for me because I am very close to my relatives (the rich ones), making it unbelievable that I don't have any contact infos of them. The poor ones however are also close to me so sometimes it is hard refusing them. But then it's all about assertiveness, learning to say no.
@Opal26 (17694)
• United States
11 Jul 10
Hi Theresaaiz~ I am sorry about your Mother's passing. I know that it's been very difficult for and I also know what a kind and caring person you are, but you need to try to stay out of the relatives issues now. You are young and have you life to think about. You don't need your other relatives being angry with you either so try not to get involved like your Mom did even though you might want to.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Thanks Opal, yes you are right. My own life has enough problems of its own!
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
11 Jul 10
Here's the simplest solution. Surely some of the 'poorer' relatives know each other, right? Just tell old Uncle Needs-A-Buck that you don't have the info at your finger tips, but if he talked to Aunt Already-Got-A-Buck, that she might be able to help him. Then make yourself scarce...lol
• Australia
12 Jul 10
The problem with Uncle Needs-a-buck is that he is only interested with keeping in touch with Aunt-Already-got-a-buck when he is in need. During his happy times, Aunt-G-A-B never seemed to exist. And when they went to my mom for the contact infos, they spin some award-winning lies to convince my mom to give out Aunt GAB's number. Merciful as my mom was, she obliged.
@savypat (20248)
• United States
11 Jul 10
Have your rich relatives request that you not give out any information, then you can say to the poor ones that you promised not to give out any information. This will make you unpopular with the poor relatives but pretty soon they will take you off their lists as the go to person. Family relationship are always tricky. Good Luck.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Yeah, too bad. Sometimes I wish I was the rich one so they didn't have to bother the others. But that's putting too much weight on my shoulders now, right?
• Philippines
11 Jul 10
First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to your late mother. Now, I would suggest that you put your foot down and tell your 'poorer' relatives that it is not your obligation to support them. Tell them that they are already abusing your mother's generosity and now they want to abuse yours too? Just try to explain to them in a good mannered way that you just can't help them anymore because if you start helping them like your mother, then I tell you, you will have a hard time saying enough to them.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Right, they will only keep on relying on us or other people for solutions to their problem. It is easier said than done yes, but there's a need to develop such character. Thanks
@allknowing (55107)
• India
11 Jul 10
Who is bothering you. The lenders or your 'poor' relatives? If it is the lenders surely they have no business to point a finger at you and as far as your 'poor' relatives are concerned you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your mother did You could politely turn down their request.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
So far I have not gotten into trouble with anyone yet. I just cited my own mother's situation when she was still alive.
@picjim (3003)
• India
11 Jul 10
Try to tell them affirmatively that you are not in a position to help them.You can guide them to change their self defeating attitude and motivate them to change their path for life for the better but you should not help them financially.The reason being they'll always think that you are there to bail them out.This way they can fend for themselves.Ultimately they will realise that they can't unreasonably depend on you.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
Your advice is right, but no, they are not directly borrowing money from me. They go through me to get to the "richer" ones. Sometimes they don't tell outright what need they have for the "rich" ones' contact infos and it's hard to assume that it's always about money. Most likely that is the case though.
@Hatley (157587)
• Garden Grove, California
11 Jul 10
theresaaiza the only thing that I can suggest on this cool early morning here in Southern California is to say no, that little two letter word that most of us adults have a problem saying to people when we are asked to do something we really do not wish to do. Or just blandly say why dont you just ask Uncle Harry or rich cousin Bill yourself? Why must I be the go between. I am not a money broker.We all could say no really easy when we were toddlers. Now we have to learn to say it when it needs to be said.
• Australia
12 Jul 10
That's the problem because they don't usually tell the exact reason why they needed the contact number. Or they don't have the number and they only ask when they need something. There are people that I already know beforehand why they're keeping in touch. But some are just tricky