Posted on: February 12, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 0

Freeloaders don’t care about your needs, which is why you need them out of your life.
They find excuses not to take responsibility, often in the form of forgotten wallets, “busy schedules,” exhaustion, or some other made-up nonsense.

You may feel the need to help these people, but you’re not required to support them forever at your expense. Check out these suggestions for getting rid of your freeloader and saving your wallet.

1. Set deadlines.

You don’t need to be harsh while setting deadlines, but you do need to be firm. Set a clear and certain deadline for the freeloader in case. You’ll be better off doing this at the start rather than after the person has begun to take advantage of your hospitality, but that opportunity might have passed by you already. Explain to the freeloader that you need a time frame to understand how long they’ll be staying with you.

Deadlines are usually for the better of both people involved. First, they give you a set time period in which you can live knowing that the freeloader must leave at that point. A deadline gives you the moral high ground when they overstay his or her welcome.

Remind the person that you need your own time, space, or money if the freeloader presses for too much. On the other hand, a deadline should motivate the freeloader to get out of there.

2. Squash any misunderstandings.

Remind the person who’s helping whom if the guest seems to forget. Eliminate any unclear terms in the situation: the arrangement is a favour at your personal expense rather than a 24/7 house party for them. Don’t be harsh about this, but you can mix it into your daily interactions to remind the person that he or she isn’t welcome to your hospitality or kindness forever.

Ask freeloaders what they did today, or if they have any big plans for the weekend. Ask them if they have any updates on whatever situation brought them into the current situation.

Don’t push it, but keep it at the back of the person’s mind. Don’t let your body language signal frustration just yet. It can only help to ask the person questions if you aren’t giving off negative vibes.

3. Set limits.

Make some boundaries that are clear and reasonable, but don’t overstress them particularly heavily while explaining them to the freeloader you’re trying to get to leave. Focusing on basic things like personal boundaries sends the message that you don’t trust the other person to understand or follow the rules. You won’t get rid of freeloaders by making them angry.

Instead, use a phrase such as this: “Of course, this bathroom is too full for a third person, but the guest bathroom has enough space for your travel bag and an extra towel. It’s just a quick hop down the stairs.”

Framing these things like they’re no big deal takes so much stress and anxiety out of the whole situation. Just make a brief-but-serious note about what isn’t allowed in your house. For friends and family borrowing money, just let them know that you need it back by a certain time.

4. Scale back.

Helping the person in question probably means taking a hit on your bills, free time, and giving up a large part of your personal space. You’re well within your rights to live simply. Serve simple meals, buy low-quality branded products, or stop doing them other small favours that you used to do regularly.

Doing a huge favour for a person means that you no longer need to pull out all of the stops that previously defined your relationship. Working hard to get your friend a job means that you don’t need to edit their work, while constantly paying for someone’s meals during a night out means that you aren’t obliged to drive them around. View social interactions as a form of currency when things start getting a little out-of-hand.

5. Push them.

Don’t do this physically; That’s called assault!. Stop being such a great host or a patient lender. Start bugging the freeloader about how he or she plans to get out of the current rut. Freeloaders actively avoid getting back on their feet, so you’ll only get them out of your hair by keeping on them about finding work themselves after a while.

You can also lie, but be careful when you do. You may need to claim the need for your space or money back in order to accommodate visits from distant friends, family, or business contacts.

Alternatively, you can make the freeloader contribute toward your payments. Unwanted household guests can begin to pay some of the rent and utilities bills, while people who treat you like a personal taxi service can begin footing the gas bill. Freeloaders who are stalling on repaying loaned money can begin paying instalments back to you as well.

However, you want to be careful when charging interest to these people. You probably don’t want to strain your relationship with the person any more than is absolutely necessary.

6. Call them out on their lies.

Don’t believe the excuses that freeloaders feed to you. Get them out of their web of lies, if only for your own benefit. Let them know when you aren’t happy with their excuses, reasoning, or attitude. Also remind the person that the world doesn’t owe anything to him or her.

You can point out that your house has been filthy and crowded because the freeloader won’t go out of the house, for example. Give evidence that shows the freeloader how much of a freeloader they really are.

7. Give a final offer.

Begin by empathizing with the person before you do this! Final offers involve telling the freeloader they’ve been lazy. It can be very insulting or sometimes just a bad judgment call. Build a case against freeloaders to convince them of your perspective, but only so much! It’s your kindness that’s been abused, so you don’t owe any explanation.

You can even go as far as to show your own inability to deal with the situation. For example, you can say: “I wish it weren’t so, but I can’t handle this arrangement as well as I thought I could.”

Get a third party to mediate the offer if the freeloader gives trouble, but this is more of a last resort in which you need to convince the person to leave rather than just kicking out the offending party.

That’s how to get rid of freeloaders. You need to set boundaries, set clear deadlines, and eliminate the ambiguity of your unfortunate arrangement. Push the freeloader to get out of his or her current situation and call out the person’s lies and excuses. Give a final offer only after going through all other options, as it can push relationships past the breaking point. Once you’ve dealt with the freeloader, you can get that friendship back on track without having to share everything in the house.

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