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Do you play up politeness when borrowing money?

Do you play up politeness when borrowing money?

Category: Money

Updated: 13/06/2016
First Published: 10/06/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

We all find ourselves in situations when we need to borrow money from time to time, be it something as simple as a colleague paying for a drink when we're cashless or asking family members for a short-term loan, but how do you feel in those situations? It seems that while some people are genuinely grateful, others are more blasé about the whole thing, and many play the politeness card to maintain relationships.

The research, from mobile payment service Paym, shows that many Brits exaggerate their politeness and level of gratitude when borrowing money from their partner, family, friends or colleagues in order to avoid causing offence, as although 49% expressed gratitude when borrowing money (£20 in this scenario), only 16% felt truly grateful.

The study used psychometric testing to see whether people were as grateful as they let on, and the results suggest that there's a clear difference between what people say and how they truly feel. It seems that many people are more comfortable borrowing money than they may appear, and that although they may say they feel guilty or uncomfortable, they're actually pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

However, the Gratitude Scale shows that as the amount borrowed increases, so does the extent of the borrower's honesty, with the show of gratitude (and perhaps guilt) when receiving larger amounts being far more genuine. This could help encourage repayment, too, with borrowers being motivated to pay the money back when they feel negative emotions such as guilt (19%) and awkwardness (20%).

Those who lend money can often experience feelings of awkwardness, too, with 21% admitting that they feel embarrassed about wanting to be paid back. Interestingly, however, this level of awkwardness can often depend on who the money has been lent to, with 56% saying they weren't bothered about being paid back by a partner, a figure which drops to 27% when it's a colleague and embarrassment comes back to the fore.

"Whether you've borrowed a fiver from a friend, or 50 quid from your family, our research shows it can cause awkwardness – no matter how polite a front you put on," said Craig Tillotson, executive chairman of Paym. He points out that having a simple and convenient way to repay such debts can come in handy in these situations, potentially preventing awkwardness being drawn out for the long term, with the Paym service ensuring people can be paid back with just a mobile phone number.

Want to get on board? Find out more about Paym here, and if your current account provider doesn't offer such a service, it could be time to consider looking elsewhere…

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.