Mr Know It All: Money matters

Friendships don’t start with one person being bullied into being the others’ ATM.

Express March 11, 2012

Q.  Dear Mr Know It All,

I am a 19-year-old boy. I have a few friends at college who borrow money from me which they never return. Instead of appreciating me for being a good friend, my friends insult me all the time.

They make fun of me and never stand by anything that I say or do. I’ve often tried asking them why they treat me like this, and they always feed me some unconvincing stuff about friendship and frankness going hand in hand and that leaves me speechless. I know I have low social and communication skills and because of that, I can’t make new friends.

I have a girlfriend however whom I love very much. The only problem is that she doesn’t know that I have feelings for her. She’s nice to me and everything, but I’m afraid if I tell her that I love her, she’ll reject me and I’ll end up losing her as well. What should I do?


A. I’m all for being delusional and harbouring false beliefs if it makes you happy, but I really don’t see the point of such self-deception if, at the end of the day, all it serves to do is make you sad and miserable.

Honestly, I don’t understand why a young guy like you who has his whole life ahead of him would torment himself by calling those egotistical, manipulative twits “friends”.

I mean sure, my friends must have leeched thousands of Rupees off me over the years and I must’ve done the same to them, but there’s one crucial aspect to such intimate, mutually fulfilling relationships: you need to be ‘good’ friends first! Friendships don’t start with one person being bullied into being the others’ ATM.

You need to trust and respect each other, not insult and scoff those who’re too nice to snap back. It may seem like you’ve been earning bonus air miles by doing extra favours for your so-called buddies, but the reality is that unless you change your act by demanding the respect you deserve, or they start contributing to the rapport in the same ways you’re willing to, your efforts will all be in vain.

This might sound like the oldest cliché in the book, but to attract better people into your life, you have to raise your standards and start believing in yourself more… and please let’s not even discuss the “girlfriend” here because her not knowing that you call her that is just plain stalky and uncool. If you really like the girl, try impressing her by manning-up and making the crappy aspects of your life a thing of the past. It’s all about baby steps. Work on your supposed friends first; build your self-confidence by standing up to them and meeting their wisecracks with equally unabashed retorts.

Remember, we’re all good communicators; it’s just the filters that separate the verbal punching champions from voiceless listeners. Do away with yours for a bit and try to discover yourself before moving onto the advanced course on wooing women, because believe me you, that’s a whole different ball game!

Q. Dear Mr Know It All,

Are there any hard and fast fashion rules regarding the colour khaki? What to wear it with, what not to wear it with etc?


A. Khaki is an often unused colour for shirts because it’s usually used for pants. Avoid wearing them together unless the shades are noticeably different and you wear a contrasting t-shirt underneath or you’ll end up looking like grandpa when he dressed for weddings in one of his treasured Safari suits. Also, please don’t talk about rules in fashion, especially the hard and fast kind. It scares me.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, March 11th, 2012.


Afghan Karachite | 11 years ago | Reply

@ Mr. 19 years old boy:

All you need is courage to become a 'bad boy'. You really need to punch some one in the face; it gives you courage and draws people attention toward you and finally scares them. Note: One of your friends not returning the money may be reasonably a good target for you. Go for it, boy!

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