When you learn that a friend or loved one has filed for bankruptcy, your natural instinct is to help out. However, most people find they need guidance on what actually helps a bankrupt person and what makes the situation worse. Here are a few things not to say to a bankrupt person, as well as what you can say instead.
“I’m So Sorry.”
Your friend or loved one has heard it – frequently. An apology can express sympathy, but it can also be a cop-out. That is, some people rationalize that once they apologize, they’ve done all they can. This is a myth. Instead, ask if there’s anything you can do to help. You’ll probably hear some tangible answers, like helping with household chores or babysitting the kids for an afternoon.
“How Did This Happen?”
A person who files will choose with whom to discuss their Dallas bankruptcy, as well as when and where. Until they volunteer this information, it’s not your business. Instead, you can ask for your friend to tell you honestly how he or she feels. It will be a huge relief for him or her.
“Have You Tried the Dave Ramsey Plan?”
Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman – no matter your financial advisor, it’s a safe bet your friend doesn’t need to hear about them. Your friend also doesn’t need or want to hear your expertise on Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 or how to avoid wage garnishment. Chances are they’ve already consulted with a bankruptcy lawyer. Instead, ask if you can help financially. If your friend declines, avoid the topic.
“This Wouldn’t Have Happened if You Weren’t Such a Shopaholic.”
No. No, no, and no. Keep condemning remarks to yourself. Instead, reassure your friend of your love and support.