With friends, we’d like to trust that what goes around comes around, particularly. That especially goes for cash and finances.
Nobody wants to track their friends’ debts to the cent, so we’re often lenient with timing and even amounts.
But sometimes enough is enough.
That was the experience of one Redditor, who posted his story on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as pinkfoxbrowncow on the site, got straight to the point in the title.
“AITA for outing my ‘friend’s’ lack of credit worthiness?”
First OP set the scene for the social context of it all.
“I am part of a group of friends with a similar hobby. One of them, B, is sort of part friend/part acquaintance and it’s fair to say that I’m the most distant from him due to a peculiar trait of his.”
“We got to know each other in college as a result of said hobby and we knew B was from a family background that wasn’t so well to do.”
OP went straight into specifics.
“For activities like going out for drinks, bowling, he would take his time to pay back his fair share and usually it would take weeks or months of bugging him before he paid back.”
“Often enough, we gave him a free pass on his financial situation and it was really a hassle to get back just $10 from him.”
“For the most part of it, he was alright other than this issue so my other friends closed one eye on this.”
Nonetheless, OP has evidently made the friendship/acquaintanceship work.
“It’s been 8 years since we knew each other and we still hang out from time to time. B is earning a rather wellpaying job but this trait still remains.”
“We’ve gotten around it by making him foot the group tab first before paying him back.”
“Of course, there are times when it slips our mind and it still takes ages to claw back that amount from him. In addition, for a drinks gathering at one’s house, he’s the only one who doesn’t bring anything.”
“Throughout the entire time we’ve known each other, we’ve rubbed him about it but he always dismisses it as ‘forgot to pay,’ ‘bank account’s locked’ etc.”
Then came a recent incident.
“For our latest gathering at a bar, we have some new friends that we’ve known from the same hobby.”
“At the end, one of them, C offers to pick up the tab first and we can pay him back later.”
“I just laughed out loud at this point and told him that you’ll never get your money back from B.”
“C took it as a joke, until we told him it wasn’t, with some back story to it and I passed the tab to B, who was clearly unhappy.”
OP would hear about that shortly after.
“After the event, B told me that I shouldn’t have embarrassed him like that in front of people outside our group.”
“I told him that now he had a stable job, his free pass was over and he shouldn’t try to leech off others all the time.”
“This incident has caused a bit of a rift in our group with friends closer to B saying that I shouldn’t have done that. AITA for outing him?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors told OP he wasn’t the a**hole.
“B can’t be upset if he’s gonna be a cheap-a**. Part of being friends with people for a long time is getting your balls busted for your shortcomings and accepting it.”
“If he can’t take the heat, then maybe he should pay his bills, huh? NTA.” — SorrenPeak
“NTA If he’s the type to not pay people back, then people should know about it. If he doesn’t want people to hear about his frequent bs, then he should behave better.” — Idriane
“NTA- Honestly if he isnt going to pay his debts back then he shouldnt get embaressed about you warning others. its not fair to those that dont know him to loose out cause he wont pay.” — KuroMegumi
“NTA. Moochers get away with what they’re allowed to.”
“Maybe there was a more elegant or polite way to do it, but B needed to see that their behavior is a problem, and unwittingly beginning a transactional relationship with a mooched SUCKS, so you did C a favor, regardless of the possible ‘lack of tact.’ ” — QueeroticGood
“NTA but I would have dropped the guy as a friend a long time ago. Or at least stopped inviting him anywhere. Also who doesn’t bring anything to a party. I’d start calling him out on that too.”
“He shows up with nothing ‘hey buddy you’re not welcome in until you stop by the store and contribute to the party’ ” — 00Lisa00
“NTA. B obviously did things during college he couldn´t afford and let you pay for it. That is not ok.”
“But now that he has a job he doesn´t pay back and doesn´t bring anything to gatherings at home is just rude. He is not able to be responsible? Then he is the a**hole.” — benitajanfruit
And although they were in the minority, a few did take issue with OP’s approach.
“ESH. You didn’t need to be such a dick about it.” — smo_smo_smo
“ESH. Him for not being timely about paying back money he owes.”
“You (and your friends) for enabling him to do this for so long and you again for calling him out in front of a new person.”
“Why not just say, ‘B usually takes care of it and we pay him back,’ or any number of other things that wouldn’t shame him publicly?” — sweeEVILone
“YTA – There were 100 better ways to go about this. Most of them involving talking directly with B about the new friends. Instead you wanted to play hero.” — TokeFerPedro
“YTA. You intentionally embarrassed and alienated someone. I would rather have a good friend who didn’t pay me back than a friend who broadcasted my financial troubles.” — Special-Attitude-242
So while OP can certainly lean into the majority and conclude that his delivery was fine, there still remains the question: will what he said actually lead to a change?